CLINTON — A new gelato shop has opened in Clinton, in plenty of time for summer when demand for the cold delicacy is likely to be at its greatest.
Business owner Maria Macrina formally opened The Cremeria at 17 College St. on May 10 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. The Cremeria serves authentic gelato that Macrina learned to make while in Italy.
The formal opening follows a soft opening on April 18. From now, through the summer, the Cremeria will be open every day except Mondays.
Macrina rents about 400 square feet from David Sullivan, a Clinton real estate agent. She said she had to do a fair amount of electrical and plumbing work to accommodate her gelato machines, which are imported from Europe and have specific electrical/plumbing requirements.
Macrina studied culinary arts in Bologna, Italy about 10 years ago, while in college, when she says she was introduced to some “wonderful gelato.” There, she learned how to create the gelato that she makes fresh every day.
Gelato is often referred to simply as Italian ice cream, “but it’s actually a more versatile term. Italian gelato includes all frozen desserts within the realm of ice cream. In the U.S., ice cream must legally contains a minimum of 10 percent butterfat, while gelato is usually made with between 0 percent and 8 percent butterfat,” the Cremeria says on its website.
Gelato has less air churned into than ice cream does, and this produces “a creamier and denser consistency,” according to Macrina. Gelato is also softer and more delicate, in part because it is served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream.
Macrina says she hopes to make eight flavors of gelato a day with some ingredients (nuts) coming from Italy. In addition to gelato, the Cremeria also offers sorbetto (a gelato made with water), plus espresso and pastries.
The opening of the shop is not Macrina’s first rodeo.
For the last, nearly four years, she operated a mobile gelato cart at farmers’ markets and other events, and she felt the time was right to expand to a storefront. She says she will look to continue to operate the cart for events like weddings and festivals.
The Cremeria employs eight part-time, seasonal workers to assist at the shop and with operating the cart. Six are high school or college students and two are friends of Macrina.
She says she’s happy to be in business for herself, because she “didn’t want to climb the corporate ladder anymore. I was ready to do something on my own and be responsible for my own outcomes — not relying on anyone else.”
Macrina was previously director of engineering and director of marketing and e-commerce at G-Form, a manufacturer of protective, athletic equipment, according to her LinkedIn page. She is also a self-employed freelance designer.
Macrina graduated from Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School in 2007 and Brown University in 2011.