A FROZEN food retailer based in Gourock has been crowned Scotland's favourite Italian business.

Fourth generation family firm Donald's Cream Ices, which started out life as an ice cream parlour in 1921, has scooped a coveted prize at the Scottish Italian Awards 2018.

Staff say they were thrilled to be shortlisted in the final five of the category and were stunned when the company was named the winner at Sunday's prizegiving in Glasgow.

Elio Amadei, who runs the Tarbet Street wholesaler with brother Carlo, said: "I'll be honest, I didn't expect it. "I was astonished we won.

"It was fantastic to be in the top five businesses in the final, and the others are all big in their industries.

"It was an excellent night."

All seven members of staff went along to the black tie awards bash but like true professionals they were back at work the very next morning - including Carlo, who started at 5am.

He said: "I was back in for a run to Ayr but we had a good night.

"The award is good for the business, it's fantastic recognition.

"It gets the name out there."

The company originated from The Picture House Cafe, next to Gourock Library, which was established 97 years ago by Elio and Carlo's great-grandparents, Domenico and Genovetta Amadei upon their arrival in Scotland from the Lunigiana region of northern Tuscany.

The brothers took over the family firm - which has diversified significantly over the years - last August, following the death of their father Carlo snr, who was 70.

Donald's Cream Ices scooped the 'Scotland's favourite Italian business' prize having made the final following a public vote, and it's the first Inverclyde firm to triumph at the annual awards.

Elio said: "It's good for the area."