One of Grand Cayman’s most popular restaurants is getting bigger.
Gelato & Co.’s owner and master gelateria Stefano Franceschi says the shop’s new spacious setting includes an open-view kitchen with more room for pastry preparations, plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and two new gourmet cabinets filled with Italian-imported products like organic jam, sodas and seasonal holiday cakes. The larger area will also allow for group events in the shop.
The shop has also expanded its breakfast options to include freshly baked pastries like croissants, pain au chocolat and Danishes, along with the offerings of a classic Italian “caffè” with offerings like espresso, cappuccino and caffè macchiato.
A variety of farm-to-table savoury quiches and sandwiches are also now available for lunch, in addition to the already popular Italian “bubble” sandwiches.
Franceschi developed the Gelato & Co. concept after working in the gelato market for more than 25 years. In a little more than three years, the shop has become extremely popular in Camana Bay, partially because of Franceschi’s passion for gelato. He creates each new gelato recipe from scratch, using only high-quality ingredients, which are reflected in the quality of his products.
Franceschi’s wife and and business partner, Marcella Morelli, is also part of the success story, and the couple makes a good team.
“She has created the style for the shop and its decor, and I’m more focused on the ingredient selections and production,” he says.
They have opened two more Gelato & Co. locations in Grand Cayman — one at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort and the other on Cardinall Avenue in George Town — but the flagship shop remains at Camana Bay.
However, Gelato & Co. has become a global chain that includes locations in Panama, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Italy and London, England. Plans are also in the works for new shops in the United States and the Middle East, and in May, a new shop will open in Milan, Italy.
Stefano tests and develops all his recipes in the shop at Camana Bay before sending them to his satellite locations to sell. He cites quality control as a very important part of the process. “With our system we are able to replicate the same quality products in every part of the world,” he says.
Each shop is locally operated and adheres to a “glo-cal” concept in order to maintain a real connection with the surrounding community. This means that the gelato is made fresh daily — without the use of processed or GMO ingredients — with ingredients such as locally grown fresh fruit obtained from farmers like Farmer Clarence McLaughlin on Grand Cayman.
Additionally, only the highest quality dry ingredients are imported from Italy for the gelato, like hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds and chocolate, as well as organic fruit not available locally.
“Our commitment is to produce the best Italian gelato possible — not just outside of Italy — and we will keep putting a lot of effort and love in what we do,” says Franceschi.
He also attributes Gelato & Co.’s unique location within the Town Centre as a contributing factor to the company’s success, which made the decision to expand the shop an easy one.
“It’s a quiet area with a nice breeze and sea view, so people and families can enjoy the gelato while relaxing on the outside chairs,” he says. “It’s also easy to reach, thanks to the many parking spaces at the back of the building, especially for a fast grab-and-go.”