Pietro Peracchi left Parma, Italy six years ago, but he brought the renowned food, drinks and gelato with him to make Amore Mio's Canadian debut.
Amore Mio Italian artisanal gelato threw open its doors on Saturday and has been attracting Kelowna residents to 270 Bernard Avenue with the sweet smell of authentic Italian cuisine: croissants, arancini, paninis, pizza, gelato and stuffed risotto balls are some of the delectable items you can devour.
"It's hard doing business on Bernard, but also I've seen this gap,” said Peracchi.
“There was [no one] that was doing the same things that you can find everywhere in Italy - this has been my job for my whole life."
The restaurant offers both a sit-in and an on-the-go option with an indoor dining area and an outside walk-thru window for hungry customers to make a pit stop.
In Germany, the gelato earned the title of best in the province and the region, said Peracchi.
“We have letters from the MP for the high level of quality brought to the province from it,” he stated, adding they are looking to frame several newspaper articles and the letter to place on their wall.
The restaurant boasts authentic Italian cooking, baking and gelato, but Peracchi was sure to add in some Canadian options to appeal to his customers from the Great White North.
"I actually added a couple of items that Canadians can't live without, which is bacon in breakfast and eggs - in Italy we don't - and muffin and scones. Other than that everything is purely Italian."
Some of the chefs and employees joked that the restaurant was so authentic that the chef that crafts their in-house gelato has yet to learn English - which was true.
Marco Napolitano, Peracchi’s right-hand man, told KelownaNow of the several gelato restaurants he operates in Germany through a translator, noting that 700 kilograms of gelato is produced each day.
Since their opening on Saturday, Amore Mio has produced over 200 kilograms of gelato to satisfy the city’s cravings.
Of the 20 gelato flavours they have on deck, Napolitano found it difficult to pick a favourite but settled on the Pistacchio.
Amore Mio also features vegan gelato options to appeal to all of Kelowna's diverse customers.
When asked about the difference between ice cream and gelato, Peracchi said that gelato has less fat - as ice cream requires more fat to maintain its form in freezing temperatures.
"While in the ice cream they use many fats to increase the freezing point so the ice cream is very, very cold. Most likely, 5 degrees colder than the gelato,” explained Peracchi.
“That brings you another problem. When you eat the ice cream your mouth freezes - you feel the flavour the first bite and then you don't feel anything.”
The restaurant is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and offers free samples to test their homemade gelato. You can also taste Amore Mio at Prospera Place on Canada Day at the Son's of Italy Canada Day event.