Cremalosa, a shop from gelato master and acclaimed Atlanta food writer Meridith Ford, will open this Friday, February 21 at 2657 E. College Avenue in Decatur, Georgia. Offerings will highlight flavors from local ingredients spun according to time-honored Italian techniques, including a selection of made-from-scratch gelato and other sweet treats inspired by the seasons and holidays celebrated throughout the year.

Cremalosa’s ever-changing menu will showcase around a dozen rotating flavors of gelato, all spun in-house on a Carpigiani gelato machine imported from Italy. Crafted from local cream and simple, farm-fresh ingredients, flavors will include a mix of traditional Italian options, such as stracciatella and pistachio, and creative offerings uniquely inspired by Southern desserts and iconic American cakes, cookies and penny candy––think banana pudding, malted milk ball, gingersnap cookie, hummingbird cake, Snickers Bar, lemon meringue pie and peach cobbler. For events from kids’ birthday parties to weddings, Meridith will be available to create special order by-the-scoop gelato, gelato cakes and gelato popsicles. Each cake can be topped with Meridith’s signature, whimsical designs including flowers and hearts playfully sculpted from icing and chocolate.

Open five days a week from Wednesday through Sunday, customers can pop in to enjoy gelato at the cozy Decatur spot and eventually take advantage of delivery options through Uber Eats and pick up their favorite Cremalosa flavors at restaurants, grocers and more around Georgia. Cremalosa’s Decatur shop will also serve as a hub for the business’ wholesale operations.

In addition to scooped gelato, layer cakes and popsicles, Cremalosa will serve boozy shakes (like “The Elvis” with banana pudding gelato, peanut butter, bourbon whiskey, vanilla wafers, whipped cream and bacon), adult affogatos, canned beer and wine by the glass or bottle. Everything from the brownies in the dark chocolate fudge brownie to the caramel in the sea salt caramel gelato will be made from scratch. Add-ins like local berries and fruits will be preserved at the shop to create delicate and balanced fruit options. Meridith will import special nut pastes from two regions in Italy: pistachios from Bronte, Sicily and hazelnuts from the renowned nut-growing Piedmont region.

Located on the plaza level of Cortland Decatur East Apartments, a new mixed-use development on East College Avenue, Cremalosa was designed by local architect Brian Finkel and constructed by local contractor Ben Lassbeck of LCM International, with interior design from local designer Scott Long. Just under a thousand square feet, the shop features a cheery and welcoming interior with colorful robin’s egg blue walls and rich chocolate brown millwork. Here, guests can enjoy the view from the gelateria’s high-top window seating or opt for a sweet treat and glass of rosé on the outdoor patio, which overlooks a neighborhood green space and the Stone Mountain Bike Route.

Meridith is committed to incorporating green initiatives at the shop, choosing to help eliminate single-use plastic by implementing compostable silverware and trash can liners and prioritizing local ingredient sourcing. Soon, she plans to sell reusable straw packages to encourage guests to take part in environmentally friendly habits, but in the meantime, those who bring in their own straws will receive a 10 percent discount off their purchase.

Cremalosa is from owner and Atlanta native Meridith Ford, who started out as a pastry chef and earned her pastry degree from Johnson & Wales University, where she also taught for seven years. She served as The Providence Journal’s dining critic and head food writer for over five years, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s dining critic and food writer from 2004 to 2010, where she earned a James Beard Award nomination for food criticism. She caught the gelato bug working in pastry for owner Riccardo Ullio of Sotto Sotto, Fritti, Escorpion and Novo Cucina, where she developed the latter’s gelato program and studied with Italian masters who taught her Italian techniques. The name “Cremalosa” is a play on “crema,’ the Italian word for cream, and the heart from the shop’s logo was Meridith’s daughter’s favorite doodle to sketch as a child.

“I am unbelievably honored to be opening Cremalosa’s doors in the Decatur community,” says Meridith. “My hope is that the shop serves as a place where families and friends gather often to enjoy each other’s company and some delicious gelato.”

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