ICE cream lovers will be offered a taste of continental culture when a new Mediterranean-style parlour opens in York this weekend.
The Luxury Ice Cream Company will sell 24 different flavours of the sweet stuff in a stylish café in Back Swinegate that will stay open until 10pm.
The new business is being launched by mother-of-two Dawn Argyle – a former interior designer, who has given the parlour an elegant French look.
She has invested £60,000 on machinery to make the ice cream on site and her ingredients will all be fresh and locally-sourced.
Dawn, 50, who lives in Pocklington, said: “I was on a cruise in the Mediterranean in 2008 and kept stumbling across these beautiful gelaterias, especially in Florence.
“I have never seen ice cream like it, certainly not in England, and I said to my partner I would really like to do this.
“So when I got back I started looking into machinery and went on an introductory course, and decided that this was what I wanted to do.”
Dawn, who hopes to recruit ten part-time staff once the parlour is up and running, said she was confident her venture would be successful.
She said: “I’m very, very excited and truly optimistic as I really can’t see it failing in York. York has four million tourists a year, so if I can just attract a portion of that tourism it will be a success.
“We’re not the kind of place you would find at the seaside and we’re not at all 1950s retro – the look I have created is completely feminine and clean and French, with chandeliers, mirrors and a marble floor.
“We’re going to be open until 10pm because I feel there is a lost market in York. I used to live in the centre of York and many a night my partner and I would go for a wander around York, and there was nowhere to go other than McDonalds.”
Dawn, who was landlady of The Beagle in Foxwood from 1984 to 1990, will be running a “buy one get one free” offer when she opens on Saturday.
The letting of 20 Back Swinegate, which was previously home to the lingerie shop Boudoir Kiss, was arranged by Blacks Property Consultants in York.