22 January 2024

Focus on favoured flavour as Florence Gelato whips up a taste of Italy in Canberra

| Lucy Ridge
Man in black shirt with white text reading ''Matteo Sassi'' ices a cake

Matteo Sassi is the owner of Florence Gelato. Photos: Florence Gelato.

A new gelateria has just opened at the Capital Food Market (formerly Belconnen Fresh Food Markets) and it’s asking the big question: if Canberra were a gelato flavour, what would it be?

Owners Juliana and Matteo Sassi are passionate about their craft and are looking forward to making authentic, fresh, Italian-style gelato at their new shop. Matteo is paying tribute to his Italian heritage by bringing traditional techniques to his adopted home of Canberra.

“Florence Gelato was inspired by and named for my hometown – a city that is home to some of the world’s best gelati,” said Matteo.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to launch than by combining a little Italian creativity with everything that makes Canberra such a special place.”

Man serving gelato in a tub

Take away a tub or have a scoop right away!

Customers are invited to submit their best suggestions for the Canberra gelato to the Florence Instagram page.

“We expect suggestions to range from the considered to the cheeky, but we’re looking forward to the creative process!” Matteo said.

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After canvassing the Region offices, we’ve come up with a few suggestions, ranging from vanilla because we’re reportedly boring (rude!) to wattleseed in recognition of our abundance of native flora. Recognising our caffeine-obsessed culture with a coffee flavour was also a suggestion. Some consideration was given to how hot air could be incorporated into a frozen dessert, but we couldn’t work out how to serve it in a bubble (but maybe a waffle would do the same trick).

So perhaps Region won’t win the prize … Hopefully, other Canberrans will be more creative!

Fresh gelato being churned

Gelato is churned fresh in-house.

Whatever flavour is chosen as the winner will be launched as a limited edition in late summer.

There’s no question that Matteo has the skills to turn creative flavours into reality. He started as an apprentice at age 14 and trained as a pastry chef, chocolatier, gelato maker and baker at Italy’s Cast Alimenti Culinary Academy.

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“I’ll be bringing all my years of experience and passion to Florence Gelato to offer classics with a modern twist – creations that combine quality Australian ingredients to bring out the best of Italian flavours,” Mateo said.

“The Canberra gelato will be a perfect showcase of what makes us different.”

As well as gelato, Matteo and the team will also serve a range of modern Italian desserts and gelato cakes.


As a trained pastry chef, Matteo will also oversee a selection of cakes.

Florence Gelato officially opened at the Capital Food Market on Saturday (20 January). Follow the gelateria on Instagram to make your suggestion for the Canberra Gelato before Monday, 29 January.

The Capital Food Market is at 10 Market Street, Belconnen. It is open from 8 am to 6 pm, Wednesday to Sunday, with some dining options opening late. Visit the Capital Food Market website for more information.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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