Angelo and his brother Benitto Greco came to Swansea in early 1900 from Caserta in S Italy. They arrived with nothing but a recipe for ice-cream and the determination to work hard and make a good living in the café trade. Angelo’s wife Maria Antoinette Greco came to Swansea c 1910 and they had 11 children over the next few years, having 9 girls and 2 boys. During this time Angelo and his brother Ben developed several businesses based in Hafod, High street St Thomas and Morriston, Angelo would work a very long day, getting up at 4 am to prepare the cakes and pastries as well as to make icecream in the chilling rooms at Neath Road Hafod which was sold in the cafes.

At a time when most people were quite poor and unemployed, Angelo would allow the men to sit in the café most of the day and enjoy a hot cup of tea.

Unfortunately when Churchill declared Italian nationals as aliens Angelo was deported as a POW and was on the infamous Arrandora star when it was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland. Miraculously he survived and was deported for the duration of the war to Australia. With his assets frozen it became impossible to maintain the businesses.

His children continued to run family cafes for many years after with Ernesto and Mathilda Grecos in Morriston, Angelo Jnr and Dorothea Greco Hafod and Harriet and Gaetano Avo in St Thomas.

Photos/Report From Paola Browne.
Sent to People's Collection Wales by Anita Arcari

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