New Olympia gelato shop serves up the sweet touch of Italy
LuWana, Ron, Payton, Jillian, Aaron and Delaney. Those are some of the key names behind Hawley’s Gelato & Coffee, a new business in downtown Olympia, across from The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, that opened in September.
And the people behind the business are all members of the Hawley family: Mom, dad, sisters and a brother.
Payton is managing the business, but the rest of the family helped. She and her father, Ron, remodeled the space on Washington Street, while Jillian, an artist, produced art for the walls. Brother Aaron, a metal worker, did metal work for the retailer, while Delaney, a photographer, snapped some pictures to hang on the walls.
In the end, the business opened Sept. 23.
“Business is building every day,” said LuWana, otherwise known as mom.
The inspiration for the business comes from Payton — she worked at a popular gelato store in Seattle called Nutty Squirrel Gelato when she was a student at the University of Washington. She fell in love with the product and the family decided to do something similar in Olympia.
Gelato is similar to ice cream. Payton described it as denser and more flavorful than ice cream. They serve it at a slightly warmer temperature than freezing so it has the consistency of frosting, but is not frozen.
They serve up to 18 flavors of gelato, which they buy from Nutty Squirrel. Some of the most popular flavors are sea salt caramel and chocolate, Payton said.
That’s just the beginning of the menu.
There’s coffee from Santa Lucia roasters in Centralia and doughnuts from Heavenly Donuts in Lacey. They also make their own panini sandwiches, including a simple grilled cheese. If gelato isn’t to your liking, there’s also dairy-free sorbetto, made from fruit, sugar and water. Flavors include strawberry, pear and lemon.
They say they have been surprised at the diversity of customers who attend the performing arts center and then stop by the gelato shop.
They serve gelato in a single scoop, double scoop or a triple scoop. If you get the triple scoop, Payton recommends you have them put that in a container, rather than trying to pile it sky high on a cone.
They also have pint servings, she said.
Now that the business is open, LuWana Hawley said there’s one question they hear all the time: How long have you been open?
Hawley’s Gelato & Coffee
Owners: The Hawley Family
Location: 511 Washington St. SE Olympia
Years in business: Opened in September.
Type of business: Retailer of gelato, sorbetto, baked goods, paninis, doughnuts and coffee.
Online: Learn more about Hawley’s on Facebook.
Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; noon-9 p.m. Sundays.
Did you know? LuWana Hawley is a longtime employee at Lucky Eagle Casino.