Wilmington’s first authentic, Italian gelato shop is now open

Nigel Langstone, GelaRto owner

GelaRto: [juh-lar­-toe] noun. 1. The art of making Italian gelato.

Okay, that’s totally a made-up definition but it is how the owner of the new gelato shop in downtown Wilmington describes what GelaRto is.

GelaRto is Wilmington’s first authentic Italian gelato store. It is also the first of what they hope to soon be a franchise around the country.

They did a trial run of the shop New York that was received well according to owner Nigel Langstone.

“We introduced some new things such as sushi gelato that we may introduce here,” Langstone said. “But for now, this is our first full-time permanent location and we’re very excited to be here.”

The gelato is made by Langstone’s business partner back in Italy and then imported to Wilmington. Langstone says he makes it the “old-fashioned way”.

“We have our own heard of cows out there. It’s in the Alpine mountains so the water is fresh and delicious,” Langstone said. “We have the most fantastic fruit and nuts there that we can use. And you can’t make it the same anywhere else in the world. You have to make gelato in Italy.”

When you walk in the doors of GelaRto it’s not hard to notice the décor and the overall theme of the place. Langstone says he wanted the shops vibe to have a flavor of Italy.

There is a back half of a fiat that is used as a booth, as well as three back halves of old fashioned Piaggio’s that are also used as seating at the bar.

You can find almost every flavor imaginable at GelaRto.

Hazelnut, salted caramel, chocolate (dark and milk), honeycomb, pistachio. And for the sorbets, some of the flavors are lemon, mango, passionfruit, strawberries and of course more.

GelaRto manager, Dylan Pierce, says the most popular flavor so far has been Oreo. It’s made with real Oreos that come from the largest importer of Oreos in Italy.

“It tastes like cookies and cream times 100,” according to Pierce.

They’ve got other stuff too. Coffee, baked goods, gelato milkshakes and sorbet smoothies, fresh chocolate from a chocolate fountain that you can put on top of your gelato, and European imported chocolate.

The coffee is supplied locally from Vigilant Hope Roasting.

Even though they’ve only been open a short amount of time, Pierce says his favorite part so far has been seeing customers reactions.

“Everyone’s had ice cream, a lot of people don’t even know what gelato is but when they taste it, they can taste the difference right away,” Piece said. “When I see their reactions, I’m confident they’ll be back.”

GelaRto is located at 18 S Water St. Suite 5 in Wilmington.

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Kristin Crawford

Kristin Crawford joined WECT as a Digital Video Content Producer in August 2016 after graduating from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. She studied Communication Studies with a focus in TV Production and Media.