Our next stop on the Beach Bites tour brought us to Café Gelato, where co-owner Doug Lammers was sure to stress that this café was a whole lot more than just a place for dessert! He stated, “We want everybody to know we are a full service café. We have a lot more than our world famous gelato.”
Despite the title, this quaint and modern spot at 7901 N Kings Hwy has so much to offer, which definitely caught us by surprise.
Lammers added, “We do offer homemade soups. We do offer wonderful salads and sandwiches and smoothies. We have a full coffee bar.”
Nothing wrong with that caffeine boost to jump start your day right?
One of the unique aspects here at Café Gelato is a nice drive-thru, because it was crafted from a building that was a former bank. It’s nice to see from a local business! As a reminder, no one is depositing money here, you’re just depositing delicious food and gelato in your belly. Speaking of, it’s time to get back to that delicious frozen treat.
Lammers dove into the details and said, “We make all the gelato here. So it’s always fresh, we make it daily. We offer 16 flavors. We have two sorbets that we offer. A normal serving of ice cream has 7 grams of fat. Where gelato would be about half that, about 3 grams. It’s made with a lot more milk and a lot less heavy cream than which you’d have in ice cream.”
How about a little history?
“We opened the café about 2 1/2 years ago, almost three years ago now, in June of 2019. I moved here actually from Nashville, Tennessee. I was in the wine and spirits business for 31-years. I was on the way to retirement. I had a cousin who lived here and his wife and met Dan, my partner here who moved here from Rome, New York. And we came up with the idea of opening a café. We had this bank building here. It was vacant and we refurbished it, fixed it up and voila, Café Gelato.”
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing right out of the gate for Doug & Dan.
“When we opened in June of 2019, it was shortly after that the pandemic began and it was really tough on not just us, but all the restaurants here on the Grand Strand. We went through a period of time where all the restaurants had to close down dining rooms, which we were in that group. Fortunately we had a drive-thru. So we started looking in the community. We knew there were a lot of people hurting out there, so we looked around, and once we figured out what we were going to do here, we looked at how we can help in the community. In an attempt to keep all of our employees and keeping people busy, we decided to do some charitable work.”
“We donated about 1,000 boxed lunches to the hospitals. We did Grand Strand, South Strand, we did McLeod Seacoast. We did stuff there. Through Impact Ministries we sponsored a food drive at the convention center, which fed about 500 families. Dan came up with an idea, we gave away free kids meals through our drive-thru for the kids because normally they’d get their free lunches at school. And I want to say we did something around 1,500 free lunches through our drive-thru, so we want to be very involved in the community. Being a good citizen here is very important to us. Like I said, when you’re in this business it’s a tough business, and we love the community, love being here in Myrtle Beach, and we’re going to do everything we can to remain one of the better citizens here.”
With all of this good will, it really has me thinking of the holidays, where you’ll be able to find some special items at Café Gelato as well. Be on the lookout for their Italian Christmas cookies, and you’re in luck if you’re in need of catering, as they provide those services too!
You can find them online at https://cafegelato.net/.