BiancA Baldelli: DOLCI FOLLIE

Story by Frank McCloy

Moving hurriedly behind the counter at Dolci Follie, Bianca Baldelli delights in serving her homemade gelato to the masses. Her business leaves her little time for rest because a usual workday begins at 5:30 a.m. and doesn’t end until midnight every day, Tuesday through Sunday. Save for a brief pausa at noon when she sneaks in a quick nap, Bianca’s workday is non-stop.

Before opening the store at 7:30 a.m., Bianca prepares a fresh batch of gelato in her home, which is 15 minutes away. She spends the remainder of her day in the store caring for customers. Because her business is located just a little ways from the heart of the piazza action, Bianca promotes Dolci Follie with a sign that boasts of her delicious homemade treats. The blue awning outside the store’s entrance proudly states “Gelateria artigianale” (homemade gelato) with an accompanying sign that lists a few of her other offerings.

 “There is not too much competition because everybody already has their own clientele, and mass-produced gelato is no good. I have things here that other places do not have,” Bianca says, adding she does not feel threatened by nearby shops or stores that sell the Italian treat.  She feels her clientele remains loyal because of the quality of her goods as well as the selection.

Fueled by her love for gelato, Bianca left her previous job at a local driving school and opened Dolci Follie seven years ago. Bianca concocts her personal recipes using only fresh and natural ingredients. While she sells several flavors, 30 in all, Bianca claims that no one flavor stands out as a customer favorite. Puffo, a bubble-gum flavored gelato she likes to call “big bubble,” is a favorite with kids and American students. Bianca’s favorite is nocciola, which is more of a traditional hazelnut flavor. Overall, though, Bianca feels most people like to sample Dolci Follie’s extensive selection. She pauses and chuckles. “It takes all kinds,” she says.

Dolci Follie offers an assortment of other sweets such as crepes, cakes, waffles, fruit desserts, and candied treats because, according to Bianca, each season brings a new must-have. Crepes, for example, are a staple at her shop during the cooler months of the year; however, she doesn’t sell many during the summer.

Once an avid gelato consumer, Bianca’s hunger for the creamy iced treat has tempered a bit since opening the gelateria. On occasion, she still enjoys a scoop; however, she prefers a nice plate of pasta instead. Summer is the busiest season for Bianca, and her rigorous schedule precludes her from having much of a life outside of work. Once winter lurches into Cagli, Bianca makes it a point to close shop a bit early and go for a run. She enjoys the exercise as a way to relieve stress. For those who don’t care for running, she has another suggestion.

“Have a nice, ice-cream lunch,” she says.

Bianca outside of Dolci Follie

Bianca outside of Dolci Follie.

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