James Dickinson photo
In April 1984, Peter Edmonds borrowed his brother Steve's business plan and gelato recipe that had already more than proven its worth in San Francisco for five years.
He opened Gelati Celesti (which means frozen heaven in Italian) in what was called Loehmann's Plaza on West Broad, just west of Parham Road. Much has changed since then, including the name of the shopping center, but Gelati Celesti is still selling from the same site and using the same recipe for its ice cream.
Edmonds opened a second gelato shop in 1987 at Quioccasin Station with his late father, John Creegan Edmonds Jr. "We opened just before the frozen-yogurt craze hit the country. It was a bad time for ice cream," he admits. After three years, they closed the second store and purchased frozen-yogurt machines to keep up with the demand.
The original shop has since eliminated the frozen-yogurt machine and now offers nothing more than nearly 100 flavors of its gelato — a mix of cream, nonfat milk, sugar, corn syrup and whey that is thick, rich and creamy.
Edmonds is grateful for customers like Bob Carlton — a regular since the doors opened. Carlton orders a two-scoop waffle cone of chocolate decadence (pictured) at every single visit. Another stalwart is Russell Teague, who orders a small cup of the latest flavor almost daily. For more information, call 346-0038.