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FOOD & DRINK

Piccolina Is Opening Its Seventh Gelateria in Hawthorn This November

Starring a subtly refreshed aesthetic, a whipped cream machine and chocolate sauce on tap.
By Libby Curran
September 17, 2021
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By Libby Curran
September 17, 2021
  shares

Since opening its first outpost back in 2016, Sandra Foti's Piccolina has become one of Melbourne's best-known gelato brands, quickly growing to encompass six stores. Now, the family is growing again, with plans to launch a spacious new gelateria in Hawthorn this November.

Foti will be making the bittersweet move from her original Hawthorn shop to this roomier corner site just 100 metres down Glenferrie Road, serving up a subtly refreshed spin on the Piccolina concept. It's a beautiful building the founder has had her eye on since the very beginning, too: "When we first opened, I wanted THAT space. If you know that Hawthorn strip, that's THE store."

While she has mixed emotions about closing the door to Piccolina's first-ever store and the memories that go with it, there was one clear choice when the long-adored space became available. "We just went with it, it was just timing," Foti told Concrete Playground. "The thing that I'm most excited about is giving back to an amazing community that supported us back when we were nothing — when we were the new kids on the block. This is sort of like a journey we're taking together."

Sandra Foti

Boasting an expanded footprint behind its heritage facade, the new outpost will be scooping the brand's full range of all-natural gelato creations. Expect crowd favourites like peanut butter, honeycomb, fior di latte, plus dairy-free options including pistachio, dark chocolate, and even a doughnut flavour crafted with Smith & Deli's iconic cardamom and cinnamon pastry. All the limited-edition gelato varieties will be getting a spin here, as will a new series of special releases launched to coincide with the opening. With recent specials including hits like the Hedgehog — chocolate gelato with toasted coconut, butter biscuit and fudge — and the marshmallow-spiked S'mores, you're in for some very good times, indeed.

As with its siblings, the shop's aesthetic comes courtesy of a collaboration with renowned design studio Hecker Guthrie and creative agency Projects of Imagination. This time, however, you can expect a few considered tweaks to the chain's signature stylings, with custom-made communal tables, new materials heroed throughout the fitout and a handful of surprises, too.

"I love to mix it up and make sure that we're always giving the customer something new and exciting," Foti explains. "We're bringing the gelateria to life in a new way, but that still feels very much like Piccolina."

To that end, there'll be a tap pouring Piccolina's legendary, warm homemade Better Than Nutella sauce to drizzle atop your scoops, a machine churning out freshly whipped cream, a giant double-doored freezer to house the signature gelato cakes, and a menu of Italian-style milkshakes and thickshakes. And yes, it's all landing this November, just in time for the start of summer.

Find Piccolina's new store at 731 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, from mid-November.

Published on September 17, 2021 by Libby Curran

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