Owners of a new ice cream parlour in Rugby town centre were over the moon as hundreds queued for free gelato on its opening day yesterday (Thursday, March 30).
The queue for MAIA Gelato went past Burger King as parents, school children and everyone in between eagerly waited for free ice cream from 3-5pm.
Co-owner Marcello Magaldi said he could not have hoped for a better reaction, saying every town should have a place like theirs.
“We’ve been working quite a lot, handing out flyers, and on Facebook, so that’s what we hoped for,” he said.
“But expecting is a big word as it’s like a bet, but it’s good and more and more people are coming.”
A group of Italians have opened the shop and to celebrate the opening, 60kg of gelato was ready to give to punters for free.
One of the many people in the queue said he works nearby and has been watching MAIA progress since it took over the old Salter’s shop on High Street.
“I’ve been quite excited, I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully there will be enough ice cream for me by the time we get to the front,” he said.
The reaction from everyone who came out with their cones and tubs filled with multi-coloured gelato was positive with people telling Marcello they would be back.
One woman told the Advertiser she had been in the town centre since 8am waiting for free gelato, and said she was not disappointed.
From 4pm, dozens of school children descended on High Street, doubling the size of the queue.
Fellow owners and married couple Antonio and Isabelle Catalano, plus another Italian, worked tirelessly behind the counter serving the patient customers.
When the sun came out, it almost felt like it could have been a scene in Rome with the streets filled with happy people enjoying gelato.