Cult favourite Messina has finally opened its first Adelaide store in Kent Town after planning started in 2020.
Messina opens on The Parade
Gelato Messina has opened its first Adelaide store after a four-year-long work in progress.
Nick Palumbo set up the Messina brand in 2002 in Sydney and admits he didn’t think Adelaide was ready for a stand-alone gelateria despite it being his hometown.
But 22 years later, Nick has opened an Adelaide store “literally 100 metres away” from his very first apartment.
“I’m from Campbeltown, so as a kid going to the city, working in the city – I used to work in Rundle Street – so this was the way home every night and on the way to work every day,” he says.
“I’ve seen Kent Town slowly, slowly develop… so we thought this is a nice place to do our first store.”
Nick says he “had a deal in place” in Adelaide in 2020 but the impacts of COVID meant Messina was delayed until now.
Nick attributes the national and international success of Messina to the company’s ethos.
“The foundation is always trying to produce the best possible product we can produce,” Nick says.
“We look at each flavour we make from a restaurant perspective… it’s like a dish for us, it’s not just a flavour.”
Messina has a new flavour each week using ingredients they haven’t used before. This week, as an Adelaide exclusive, Messina is offering a custard tart with iced coffee fudge flavour titled ‘I Know the Owners’.
Nick’s brother and co-owner Danny Palumbo says creating a new flavour is strenuous.
“We’ll come up with a flavour idea and then [our head chef] will go test it out,” he says.
“We’re always working six months in advance – you need to be way ahead of the curve.”
Through this trial-and-error process, Danny explains they have tested some flavours “that were a little bit ambitious”.
“There was a Nacho Libre one with corn chips and avocado,” Danny says.
“It just didn’t work out but you know, each to their own… you go for gold sometimes.”
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Danny says his Italian heritage and strong family values have kept the brand’s ethos strong and resulted in part of its success.
“Our Italian heritage for me has definitely shaped us into the way we are because everything has been carried through,” he says.
“It’s just very authentic Italian and we pride ourselves on it, you know?”
Messina is located at 44 The Parade West, Kent Town and is open from Sunday to Thursday from 12pm until 10:30pm, then Friday and Saturday from 12pm until 11pm.
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