Voted best gelato in Australia by the Good Food Guide, Gelato Messina has arrived in Brisbane.

Messina is no stranger to the Brisbane public, having appeared at many inner city events over the years, including The Brisbane Ice Cream Festival and the Milton Markets. With a cult-like following, Messina is a favourite in Sydney and Melbourne, and staff hope the success will follow the brand to its new home in Melbourne Street, South Brisbane.
“A lot of people have been asking for us to open up a store in Brisbane so we are very excited to finally be opening here in Melbourne Street,” says Siân Bishop, brand and content manager.
Messina first opened in 2002 in Darlinghurst Sydney, and is still its largest store so far. The Melbourne Street store will be the 16th venue. Launched by Nick Palumbo, with the help of his brother Danny, head chef Donato and fourth owner Declan, Messina has grown to become a nationwide success.

Even with its enormous following, Messina remains a family business. “We’re not a

franchise and each of us continues to be involved with the opening of a new store. Nick is very much involved in the building process. We call him the ‘frustrated architect’,” laughs Siân. What sets Messina apart from other gelato stores, according to Siân, is not only the high level of involvement the owners exhibit in each store, but the fact that they produce every one of its 40 flavours themselves, including the assorted ‘additions’ such as brownies, croissants, cookies and whole apple pies, which are all baked in house. Each flavour has a different liquid base and it is all made at the Sydney Factory before being transported to the store where it is churned fresh for consumption each day.

While each Messina store incorporates signature elements, including polished concrete floors and the trademark colours — pistachio green, orange and brown — Nick works tirelessly on each new store to create something slightly unique. The Brisbane store has a mid-70s Palm Springs aesthetic with mahogany panels, angular built-in cake cabinets and a custom-built gelato classroom.

The Melbourne Street store features Messina’s full range of 40 flavours including five weekly rotating specials. Head Chef Donato is the mastermind behind the weekly specials, as he enjoys playing around with crazy flavour combinations. In the past, these have included Cracker Jacks ¬ caramel peanut butter popcorn gelato with peanut popcorn praline — and Just Like a Milkshake — coco pops cereal milk gelato with coco pop clusters.

Messina is also hoping to bring ‘Hands On’ gelato making classes, gelato appreciation sessions, plus the popular Creative Department to Brisbane later in the year. The Creative Department is a seven-course gelato degustation, but different to what one would expect. Those daring enough to participate have their tastebuds wowed with an assortment of both sweet and savoury delights paired with housemade drinks. Pickled blood plum sorbet and garlic gelato are a few examples of Messina’s bold flavour ventures.