COMMUNITY • BY SAMANTHA BORTNIKER • PHOTOS BY REBECCA RINI
It was a gelato-filled day for Takoma Park. Families and friends gathered outside Dolci Gelati, enjoying the fresh sorbet and gelato and the beautiful spring weather.
Dolci Gelati, the city’s newest gelato shop, debuted Saturday March 30 at 7000 Carroll Ave. Marcello Minna said he and his partner, Gianluigi Dellaccio, are thrilled to open in Takoma Park.
“We are happy from an economical point of view because we did very good on Saturday,” said Minna. “And because people like the product.”
Minna said they opened at the best time of the year, the beginning of spring leading into summer, and in the perfect area.
By selling gelato and sorbet, Minna said he and Dellaccio have an advantage compared to regular American ice cream and sherbet shops.
“Our product is very fresh, very unique,” said Minna. Minna will sell his organic product, Kicco Expresso, and Dellaccio will sell his gelato and sorbet, Dolci Gelati.
Everyday, Dellaccio will prepare a variety of nine out of the 250 flavors of gelato to provide a variety for customers. There will also be three sorbet flavors served daily.
Gelato differs from ice cream in a few ways: it has a third the fat content, half of the calories and less air content, resulting in a richer flavor. Sorbet offers a fat and dairy free option; it is a water-based gelato made with fresh fruit, differing from sherbet. Similarly, customers may not be aware that espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee.
“It tastes exactly like what I had in Rome,” said customer Rachel Barham who plans to bring her friends whom she traveled to Italy with back to try Dolci Gelati.
The direct approach
Rather than distributing his product through restaurants in DC, such as Tosca and Mintwood, Minna sells Kicco Espresso directly. That way he sees his customers enjoy his product. Dellaccio, as well, distributes gelato through Whole Foods and now has a chance to sell directly to customers.
“Our idea was to see the reaction in people’s faces when they try our product directly through us…so far, we are very pleased,” said Minna.
“I used to own this shop,” said Karen Leeman, who visited Dolci Gelati curious to see what business moved in. “He is a lovely guy, was happy to meet me and said there was good karma in this place.”
She admired the changes made. They installed plumbing and opened the walls to include a bathroom. Leeman said Minna is a nice guy, which will help with customers, and she hopes he does well.
After tasting the gelato, she had to get the pistachio, and David Leeman decided on the almond gelato. Both said it was reasonably priced
“It was delicious, especially the salted caramel,” said Melanie Stevenson, a neighbor. Minna said chocolate and salted caramel gelato have been the most popular flavors.
Takoma Park welcomed Dolci Gelati with flowers, cheesecake and business.
“It’s nice to see businesses moving in. We’ll probably be here a lot,” said Rudi Feiler, a nearby resident, while enjoying his gelato.
Dolci Gelati serves gelato, sorbet, kettle corn, Nutella croissants, and other desserts such as cake. For the first month Dolci Gelati will open at 7 a.m. to see if there is a morning coffee rush and will close at 9 p.m.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Rebecca Rini is a parent, telecom, media & tech lawyer, photographer, ed-techie, anti-nuclear activist, foodie and MINI lover. Born in Brooklyn, NY she is a long-time resident of Takoma Park and currently resides in Takoma, DC. You can see more of her photographs at www.snap2photo.zenfolio.com.