Recent article in the Daily Times
by: Rachel Totten
Mamma Gallina’s has expanded its Italian cuisine business with a new brick-and-mortar location in Alcoa that specializes in gelato.
Mamma Gallina’s Gelato Shop, 232 S. Calderwood St., Suite F, officially opened in the breezeway of New Midland Shopping Center on Thursday — exactly one year since owner Christy Burkely first launched the food truck on March 1, 2017, following a visit to Italy.
“I just fell in love with Italy — the food, the culture, the wine, the gelato,” Burkely told The Daily Times on Monday. “I decided two things that make me happy are gelato and cheese, so I wanted to open a cheeseria and gelateria.”
Burkely, a Blount County native with Italian heritage, said the inaugural business that was named after her Sicilian grandfather, Joe Gallina, has helped immensely in paving the way for a permanent location at Mamma Gallina’s existing kitchen space in Midland Plaza.
“Last year was a learning experience,” she said. “My family had bakeries in Sicily, so I kind of came from a history of Italian food and I thought the food truck would be a good way to serve the community. I want to be even more involved in the community this year.”
But, unlike the truck, which serves everything from pizza to ravioli, the new shop is focusing on Italian-style ice cream, espresso and some select sandwiches for its initial startup.
“We’re wanting to serve everything we have on the food truck eventually,” Burkely said. “As time goes by, we’ll start adding to the menu, but we’re going to ease into it.”
Currently, the shop’s menu includes two sandwiches — the Godfather Panini, consisting of salami, prosciutto, capicola and provolone and mozarrella cheeses on ciabatta bread, and the Pizzini, which is basically a “pizza sandwich,” Burkely said.
The gelato, however, comes in a variety of flavors, such as German chocolate cake, s’mores, hot cocoa and pistachio almond, and is made fresh daily with milk from Knoxville-based Cruze Farm.
Customers can also enjoy affogatos — a classic Italian dessert of gelato topped with a shot of hot espresso.
“The simpler, the better,” Burkely said of the coffee-based treat. “You just pick a gelato flavor and pour espresso over it.”
And, it’s all made from scratch.
“We make all our own sauces and nothing comes out of a jar,” said Burkely, adding that certain products like tomatoes and olive oil are even imported Italy. “You can come in here and see all these ingredients. Everything’s top of the line.”
Starting out, Burkely said the shop only offers carry-out orders, but that will likely change in the coming months.
“We take orders at the entry of the shop and customers eat outside,” said Burkely, noting that little red cafe tables are available adjacent to the shop in the plaza’s breezeway. “Later on, we’ll have a place for customers to come sit down inside.”
Mamma Gallina's Gelato Shop
WHERE: New Midland Plaza, 232 S. Calderwood St., Suite F, Alcoa
HOURS: Thursday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
In honor of