Ola Ice Cream Factory Shops

Ola is a brand that is well recognised throughout South Africa as a provider of ice cream and other frozen products.

The company logo in particular has become a regular sight on the country’s many beaches as a result of the numerous traders who sell Ola ice cream to beachgoers during the summer months, and has been associated with the outdoors in general among South Africans from all walks of life.

While not a company that specialises in dedicated retail outlets, Ola products are found in a wide variety of stores ranging from informal kiosks to petrol stations to supermarkets.

Early history of Ola Ice Cream’s creation

A little-known fact about the company is that Ola is actually an international brand (as part of the global Unilever corporation).  In fact, many of the same products sold under the Ola name in South Africa are also marketed to other parts of the world, using the same logo but a different brand name depending on the location.

The original British brand name that was first associated with the logo and products is Wall’s. The origins of Ola date back over two hundred years to London, England, when Richard Wall opened a butcher’s stall in St. James’ Market in the year 1786.

Wall’s, as the business came to be known, grew into a successful butchery in the following years, and stayed in the family until the 20th century.  During this period, the company established regular business cycles whereby it would be forced to lay off workers during the summer months as demand for its meat, pies, and sausages fell.

Around 1913, Richard Wall’s grandson, Thomas Wall II, conceived the idea of expanding the business to produce ice cream as a means to generate further income during the summer months and avoid these regular layoffs. The outbreak of the First World War prevented this idea from being implemented until 1922, by which time the Wall’s business had been jointly bought by Lever Brothers and Margarine Unie (two companies that would later merge to become Unilever).

However, the idea of selling ice cream under the Wall’s name proved so successful that within a few short years ice cream had become the brand’s main product range.  In 1959, the first purpose-built Wall’s ice cream factory was established in England.

Ola Ice Cream stores in South Africa

Since its acquisition by Unilever, the Wall’s brand has increased its global reach substantially, arriving in South Africa under the Ola name in 1994. The company’s products are some of the most widely enjoyed in the country. Magnum, for instance, is once of the world’s most popular ice cream brands, selling in excess of a billion units each year.

Fruttare is a fruit-based frozen treat that has risen to great popularity since its introduction to the South African market in 2012. The Rich ‘n Creamy and Gino Ginelli brands can be found in many home freezers throughout the country. Other popular Ola products include Paddle Pop, Cornetto, and Solero. The Unilever head office for South Africa can be found in Johannesburg.

Ola Ice Cream

Capetown Store – Montague Gardens

47 Stella Road
Montague Gardens, 7441
Phone: +27 21 551 7045

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