If you haven't tasted a tub of Piccolina, you've been severely deprived of some of Melbourne's best natural and authentic Italian-style gelato. You can now pick up all the Piccolina favourites from the new flagship Collingwood store including pistachio, Better than Nutella and salted caramel.
The creamy creations are prepared in a dark green open kitchen, which sits in the centre of the gelateria. The design is a collaboration between Hecker Guthrie, Projects of Imagination (they've overseen a huge rebrand) and owner and ex-designer Sandra Foti. "It's really fun and fresh, but it's traditional at the same time," Foti explains. The design takes inspiration from both 1950s southern Italy and the historic building in which it lies; Hecker Guthrie has retained pressed metal ceilings and original terrazzo floors and has used a traditional Italian colour palette.
The star of the space is the large pozetti bench, which holds 24 shining silver containers. This traditional Italian storage method protects the product from light and air. At the flagship store, the bench has been fully clad in rustic green Italian tiles, which curve around the bench. After tasting and choosing a flavour, gelato-lickers can grab a seat at the bar and enjoy some behind-the-scenes action at the open kitchen. "They'll be able to see nuts roasting, chocolate sauces being stirring, ganaches and jams being made from scratch — everything," says Foti.
Using wholesome natural ingredients is what Piccolina is all about — there are no premixes and certainly no artificial colours or flavours anywhere near this gelato. And that's not about to change with the launch of the new store. "Our focus is still on traditional gelato," says Foti. "We don't want to do what everybody else is doing. It's about remaining true to our vision, which is traditional, Italian gelato made using authentic production methods."
It certainly provides an alternative to Gelato Messina, which is just 200 metres down the road.