The Tasty Spoon serves locally sourced, handcrafted gelato in flavors suitable for every sweet tooth.
By Amanda Pinney, Photos by Logan Crable and Gilbert Trevino
Tucked into a cozy bungalow on South First Street, The Tasty Spoon is a place for locals to grab a scoop of gelato or an iced coffee and lounge under the shade of the property’s backyard oak tree. The shop opened in early April, just in time for the toasty summer weather, with the gelato menu featuring fruity flavors such as watermelon and peach alongside classics like honey lavender and salted caramel.
Ashley MacDonald always dreamed of opening a dessert shop and was called to gelato after hearing of Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy. As the oldest manufacturer of gelato equipment, the school provides knowledge and expertise for people who wish to work in the gelato field. Suffice to say, there, MacDonald learned everything she needed to know about opening a gelateria.
The only question that remained was where she would open her own gelateria. MacDonald wanted to bring her sweet scoops to an entrepreneurial city with a small-business mindset, and after finding the perfect space in Austin, she went to work creating the right vibe.
“The ambiance and atmosphere that I always wanted to create was this kind of homey and welcoming vibe, where it was comfortable to walk in and have a tasty scoop, work on your laptop or play with your kids outside,” MacDonald says.
At The Tasty Spoon, the fall months feature a new assortment of warm, spiced flavors, such as pumpkin, toasted marshmallow and gingersnap, as well as pomegranate-ginger and apple-cider sorbets. MacDonald also wants to provide flavors to satisfy even the pickiest palate.
“Ideally, I’d like to be able to offer everybody, regardless of what their food intolerance may be, with a very fun and unique flavor,” says MacDonald, who aims to provide vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options to match the traditional creamy flavors.
MacDonald works to source as many products locally as she can, and what isn’t local is brought in from Italy or France to maintain a high-quality ingredient profile. Everything is house-made, embracing the authentic, hands-on, small-batch production style.
As the winter months approach, the gelateria has a new addition to the shop to help warm the chill. A back room will be transformed into a traditional English tea room to welcome tea as the newest menu item and keep Austinites cozy during the holiday season.