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What a scoop! A taste of Italy comes to Stroud

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A new ice cream business has opened at the Five Valleys Food Market in Stroud.

Alfonso Gelateria boasts shops in Woodstock, Witney and Stow-on-the-Wold and has expansion plans to open another two stores in the Cotswolds in the coming months.

Owner and company director, Lewis Ratto, moved to the UK from Rome at aged 17. His fast-evolving business started out in a tuk-tuk but at just 30 years-old his enterprise now employs up to 30 people at peak season.

When asked why Five Valleys was chosen for the fourth location, Lewis said: “I look for interesting locations with interesting units and feel the neighbouring food vendors will complement our offer well and provides a great attraction for Stroud.”

The gelato is all homemade using signature recipes created by Lewis himself. The menu is made up of 10 classic flavours such as chocolate, honeycomb, salted caramel and pistachio with seasonal specials added to the menu which change fortnightly allowing the team to cater to all dietary requirements.

As well as ice cream the unit also provides a range of hot and cold drinks including hot chocolate made from real chocolate and of course homemade smoothies and milkshakes.  

Lewis prides himself on curating not only a great menu but also a strong team of friendly staff who deliver fantastic customer service. Through getting to know their customers, Alfonso Gelateria has built a loyal customer base who enjoy tucking into their ice creams year-round, especially those festive flavours such as mince pie and brandy and brown butter. 

The team make a special effort with every customer and cater for little ones with Bambino ice creams and those who want to just enjoy one scoop but with two flavours. 

It was this personalised service that propelled the business during the COVID-19 pandemic where Lewis offered a note writing service to accompany his ice cream delivery orders.

Lewis continued: “I very much believe in great customer service and the personalised touch this is fed through to my team so strong relationships are built with customers, to my signature recipes based on our customer feedback. I believe people are craving an experience when they choose to eat out and this is what we try to deliver with every visit.”

Two further jobs have been created with this latest expansion with further roles created during peak season.

Centre Manager at Five Valleys, Jack Simpson, said: “We’re delighted to have Alfonso Gelateria join the food offer here at Five Valleys market.

“We are nearing full occupation on our market now with announcements soon to be made on occupiers for the last three remaining units.” 

Alfonso Gelateria will be open 11am until 5pm seven days a week, opening late until 8pm on Friday’s.

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