With the first day of spring came a few warm-weather treats — though not warm weather — to downtown Gainesville.
Handmade gelato, fruit smoothies, coffee and more are now available in Main Street Market on the square.
Paresh Patel and Dharma Patel, owners of Sweet Magnolias Cafe and Bakery, on Monday opened Coffee and Smoothies at the Square, a small shop just inside the front doors of Main Street Market, adjacent to Sweet Magnolias.
The owners, who have been operating in the market for two years, saw an opportunity to expand with the storefront space, Paresh Patel said.
Dharma Patel said the new offerings were customer-driven.
“People were always wondering if we had different coffee or a little bit of a breakfast item people could grab and go,” said Dharma Patel. “And in summer time, people are always wondering about the ice cream also — always. So we thought about it and thought, ‘OK, this is a good spot for that kind of thing.’”
More than 20 gelato flavors are available at the shop, including some traditional Italian flavors such as mascarpone, hazelnut and stracciatella, a creamy gelato with fine chocolate shavings. They also have more common ice cream flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, oreo and peanut butter.
Four sorbet flavors are also available, plus five varieties of fruit smoothies, including strawberry, peach, mango, wild berry and strawberry banana.
Cold coffee smoothies and hot coffee varieties are also on the menu, from espresso and cappuccino to lattes and flavored coffee.
Regina Mansfield, Main Street manager for the city of Gainesville, said there was an ice cream shop in the same location a year ago that “was very popular.”
“We have been waiting for something like that,” Mansfield said. “We’re always on the lookout for ice cream, fudge or chocolates. When you’ve been shopping all day, it’s nice to go get a sweet treat. So we’re really excited about them opening that front part of Main Street Market, and Dharma and Paresh are just great people to work with. They’re great businesspeople and just great people to have on the square.”