A new ice cream parlour and cafe in Rugby town centre is offering free gelato from 3-5pm for its opening on Thursday (March 30).
MAIA is opening in the former Salters shop on High Street and bringing authentic Italian gelato to Rugby.
Shoppers will have seen builders hard at work getting the cafe ready for Thursday’s opening for two months.
Founding partner Marcello Magaldi said they wanted to give people a ‘true, Italian experience’ with everything from ingredients to furniture imported from his homeland.
“Gelato is something everyone likes and if we can bring the true Italian experience to Rugby then we’re going to make the life of this community a bit sweeter,” he said.
“We wanted to create something that looked like a real Italian gelateria which we are missing in Rugby as we didn’t see anything like that.
“Something with a lot of light and colours reflecting our flag so a lot of red, white and green, with a counter and bar that would really look like the Italian ones, where you can stand and have an espresso like you can in Italy.”
Three Italians own the shop and have meticulously changed it into the ‘gelateria’ they dreamed of.
“It’s taken us a while, we had to completely rebuild the shop which was more like a cave than a shop,” Marcello said.
“So we had this clear idea of how we wanted Maia to look, and we’re finally at the stage where we can open.”
As well as the 16 different gelato flavours, from pistachio and rum and raisin to vanilla and chocolate to bubblegum, Maia will also sell coffee from Naples, homemade pastries and fresh juices.
“That’s what we really wanted to for this community as it would be good for everyone who is not able to fly to Italy to have an opportunity to have a taste of our country,” Marcello said.
“The whole production will be done in our kitchen and shop which has an open window so anyone can see how we make our gelato if they want.”