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Cafe Gelato expansion comes with a side of romance

Twelve years after opening on Reynolda Road, Café Gelato has opened a second location.

The new spot, at 1612 S. Hawthorne Road, opened in mid-July. The original spot, at 845 Reynolda Road across from Hanes Park, is still going strong.

The route to a second Café Gelato was a circuitous one for founder Ciska Weber and comes with a touch of romance.

It started about 2½ years ago when Weber met Christopher Edwards through .

“He had this long curly blonde hair back then,” Weber said with a smile.

“She reached out to me,” Edwards said. “I had a photo on there from high school where I was dressed up for Punk Rock Day. I looked like Ziggy Stardust.”

Weber wasn’t looking to expand. But when Edwards, a graphic designer, was between jobs, he began to think he might have to move to find work. That’s when they began talking about working together.

“I had this great idea to open a bar in a train car,” Weber said. “But to find a train car and move it was a whole another story.”

“We actually found several cars,” Edwards said. “I’m into vintage stuff, and it would have been really cool. But moving one of them was prohibitively expensive.”

“That’s when I said, ‘Let’s just open another Café Gelato,’” Weber said. “This is something I know how to do.”

It took them a while to find a spot they liked. They even looked in Greensboro before settling on the space on Hawthorne. They are on a part of Hawthorne between the retail hub at Knollwood and Forsyth Medical Center at Silas Creek Parkway. The store is surrounded mostly by dental and other offices.

“We get a lot of traffic here,” Weber said. The challenge is getting people to stop. Weber hopes to increase the signage and add outside tables to attract attention.

Both places typically offer 12 flavors of gelato and sorbet at one time. They also both serve coffee and tea.

But the new place is larger and has ample parking. It also has a larger kitchen area. So it is able to offer fruit teas and bobo teas not available at the original store.

But the new place does not serve wine, like the original location.

Right now, all of the gelato is made at the original location. But that will change soon. When it does, customers can expect to see some different flavors at each location.

“Christopher gets super-creative with his flavors,” Weber said. He recently has created chocolate peanut-butter and peanut-butter banana gelatos.

“I like herbal flavors, like lemon mint,” Weber said.

But both places will always carry standard flavors, like chocolate, vanilla and mixed berry.

The plan is for Weber to hold down the fort at the Reynolda location while Edwards manages the new spot on Hawthorne.

Weber used to sell gelato Saturday at Cobblestone Farmers Market, but she has stopped doing that.

The only thing remaining to work out is when the couple can spend time together.

“I think we might be able to work together on Thursdays. And we’re going to try to take Sundays off together,” Weber said. “But that’s not going to happen for at least a month or two.”