Gelato fans take notice: DC's resident gelato experts at Dolcezza are moving into a massive new headquarters/tasting center just behind Union Market.
"We love being around Union Market," says co-owner Robb Duncan, "with all the growth and development happening all around us." The 4,000 square feet space will be the center of production and feature a 20-seat coffee and gelato tasting bar. After operating out of a tiny Georgetown space for 10 years, Duncan relishes the luxuries of having a state of the art factory and lab space. The added space will allow Dolcezza to increase production 10-fold.
You'll also be able to see pieces of Dolcezza's history in the warehouse. When Dolcezza opened a decade ago, Duncan and company shipped all of their equipment up from Argentina on a boat. In the back you'll find the one surviving piece: a 10+ year old gelato machine. "It's the 'ager' in the process," describes Duncan, "which holds the cream base at 40 degrees for us to spin the gelato in the batch freezer machine flavor by flavor."
Having the tasting facility has its advantages for the gelato too. "At the factory, the gelato is served fresh from the machine and has not been tempered." Duncan describes it as "soft serve gelato."
You'll be able to taste gelato at the bar while watching that very flavor being made. Five to six flavors, like Sicilian Blood Orange or Quince, will be available on any given day. There's also going to be a coffee program in cooperation with Stumptown Coffee Roasters, with regular cuppings and seminars.
When the facility opens in the spring, daily gelato tastings will be held at noon and 7 p.m. We had the opportunity to take a tour of the new space with Duncan. Check out the slideshow to see Dolcezza's new home.