Ipswich: ‘Retro’ ice cream parlour Ra Ra’s is proving a hit

Kirsty McClure, Kira Elmy and Lizzie Arvanitidou at the Ra Ra's American-style ice cream parlour

Kirsty McClure, Kira Elmy and Lizzie Arvanitidou at the Ra Ra's American-style ice cream parlour - Credit: Archant

IPSWICH girl Kira Elmy has always wanted to run her own business – and now she has achieved it with the opening of her retro fifties American-style ice cream parlour, Ra Ra’s in Northgate Street.

The building has been home to several different restaurants in the past. Now, with the help of her parents, Kira has turned the inside of the restaurant into a 50s/60s style bar and the staff even even wear appropriate retro-style uniforms.

It has taken a year in the planning and prepation to get it open. She said: “It is a family business and I am really grateful for my parents’ support. The three of us did all of the fitting out with only specialists like plumbers and electricians coming in.

“It is my concept really, an ice cream parlour offering sundaes and cakes, We are adding waffles and pancakes now.

“It is already proving popular with families. You should see some of the children’s eyes open wide when their sundae is carried out to them.

“We opened on December 21 and didn’t know what to expect, as a new business and people not knowing about us

“It has been OK though, we are pleasantly surprised. We have had half term and weekends are particularly busy as we build up our custom. We have already got some regulars coming in.

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“We could do with seeing the last of the snow, people don’t want ice cream when there is snow outside, and some of them just stay at home until it has gone.”

Kira is assisted by Lizzie Arvanitidou, her best friend from her school days at Copleston High School, and there are several other staff team members.

So which of their products do they prefer? “I love the carrot cake,” said Kira while Lizzie added: “My favourite is the sundaes, especially the buttery one, Build me Up Buttercup. It is very more-ish.”

Ra Ra’s is open seven days a week, from 11am to 5pm, with later evening opening planned as the year progresses and the weather gets better, added Kira.

Or course I couldn’t leave without trying one of the sundaes. Kira brought me a cookies and cream sundae, which I managed to eat without getting any chocolate on my beard, tie or jacket!

Next time I will try the knickerbocker glory or perhaps the cherrybomb.