Dolcezza has been supplying Washington, D.C. with fresh, premium gelato since its first Georgetown shop opened in the mid-2000s. Since then, the company has expanded to include four different locations throughout the D.C. metropolitan area. And the company is still growing. Its latest space, which will serve as the company's gelato factory and eventually be a coffee and gelato lab, is hosting an open-to-the-public grand opening event on Dec. 7. From noon to 7 p.m., visitors will be able to sample free gelato and coffee in addition to meeting with local farmers that supply Dolcezza with its ingredients.
The factory, located near Union Market at 550 Penn Street, NE, replaces Dolcezza's smaller production facility in Georgetown. The 4,000-square-foot warehouse will increase production space tenfold. The modern and bright space features skylights, 18-foot tall glass garage doors, and vintage industrial pieces from the Hershey Chocolate Factory circa 1950. From the new mezzanine level, the public will be able to get a bird's eye view of the entire gelato-making process.
The new space will open to the public sometime in the spring of 2014. Here guests will be able to order both gelato and sorbetto as they are being produced daily fresh from the machine, with five to six flavors being made at any one time. The price for a small will be $5.25. The gelato will be served in an eclectic mix of porcelain, ceramic, and glass bowls with real silverware.
Dolcezza is also setting its sights on another important offering: coffee. The dual coffee and gelato lab will showcase Dolcezza’s latest brewing techniques and varieties of premium artisan beans from the esteemed Stumptown Coffee Roasters. This area (pictured above) has poured concrete tasting counters, custom millwork using plywood panels, and a back wall constructed with repurposed wood crates from Dolcezza's farmers. With plenty of open floor space and room for future expansion, the factory will be able to host special events for groups ranging between 50 and 100 guests.
This space is a nice addition to the Union Market area. D.C. gelato aficionados and fans of the "third-wave" of coffee in this country should head here for tastes of both.