Find boozy shakes and seasonal scoops at this Decatur gelato shop opening soon

Pastry chef-turned-food writer Meridith Ford plans to merge American flavors with Italian techniques

The Elvis boozy shake

Courtesy of Meridith Ford

Opening in January at 2657 East College Avenue in Decatur, Cremalosa is first and foremost a gelato shop, says owner Meridith Ford, but it’s also going to be a place for pastry, gelato cakes and pops, sorbetto, beer, and wine. [Update: After a delay, Cremalosa officially opened on February 21.]

Named for the Italian word for cream, the gelato flavors at Cremalosa are inspired by the Southern cakes, pies, and “penny candy” Ford grew up eating. Regular flavors include dark chocolate fudge brownie, sea salt caramel, and banana pudding, while seasonal options will include malted milk ball and a gingersnap cookie flavor during the holidays. Traditional gelato such as pistachio and stracciatella will also be available. Boozy shakes include the Elvis—a mix of banana pudding gelato, peanut butter, bourbon whiskey, vanilla wafers, and whipped cream.

Other sweet options include gelato sandwiches made with chocolate chip cookies; gelato pops dipped in chocolate or peanut butter and rolled in nuts and sprinkles; brownie sundaes; gelato cakes; and even vegan gelato.

Ford, who studied pastry at Johnson & Wales University and worked as a restaurant critic for 15 years (she’s written dining stories for Atlanta, among other publications), plans to use local fruits, milk, and cream in her gelato. She’ll import nuts and nut pastes from Italy, and learned Italian gelato-making techniques while working at Riccardio Ullio’s Dunwoody restaurant, Novo Cucina.

As for the decision to serve alcohol, “I was thinking about how I can have a little fun and make it more interesting for a wider demographic,” Ford says.

Craft beer by the bottle and “six or seven” Italian and Spanish wines by the glass will be available from the counter. Ford is thinking about selling canned cocktails and CBD sodas, too. There will be seating for 20, including space in the courtyard.

Ford describes the design as “weird and eclectic—very much like me. I’m country, English, Danish, and barnyard.”

Banana pudding gelato

Courtesy of Cremalosa

A neon Cremalosa sign hangs on a textured wall, and the gelato bar is made of handcrafted wood. On the right, a small apothecary cabinet holds spoons and napkins, and eventually branded hats and T-shirts.

“I’m just looking to make people happy,” Ford says.