Piccolina Gelateria Hawthorn
Sandra Foti, owner of Piccolina Gelateria, grew up eating her father’s Italian homemade gelato.
With 15 years of experience learning from her father, and with traditional gelato recipes in her possession, Foti quit her day job as a graphic designer. She went to Italy to master her craft, and has returned home to open her first gelateria in Hawthorn, before upgrading to a new sun-drenched corner space just a few doors up in 2022.
Making authentic Italian gelato is very labour intensive. Every component of Piccolina gelato is made using raw ingredients. For the “bread, butter and jam” gelato, Foti bakes the bread in-house and sources fresh blueberries or figs from local farms to make the jam from scratch.
There are more than 20 all-natural and seasonal gelato, sorbetti and granita flavours, including pistachio; salted caramel; passionfruit; coconut and watermelon; mint; and lime. Foti insists you enjoy it just like the Italians do: with a freshly baked Italian brioche bun.
Alternatively, you can ask to have your scoop drenched in chocolate at the "better than Nutella" fountain. And if you’re catering for a celebration, the largest fridge in Piccolina’s arsenal resides at the back, with enough real estate to house more than 120 cakes.
Design team Hecker Guthrie and Projects of Imagination have imbued the space with Piccolina’s industrial aesthetic, and glowed-up many of the building’s original heritage features. Beyond the striking arched window is bright space flush with contemporary furniture, and a communal bench to linger at with your selection.