Prawn cocktail, Japanese bento box, fried pizza, arancini rice balls, gyoza dumplings, pani puri and poutin are some of the revolutionary new ice cream creations coming from Auckland's new Giapo store.
Annarosa Petrucci and Giapo Grazioli of Giapo Haute Ice Cream are leaving their 46sq m kitchen and shop beside the Civic on Queen St where they have operated for nearly nine years for 150sq m premises on Gore St near the waterfront.
The icecream business, which serves around 1000 customers a day and is run by the Auckland-based Italian migrant couple, takes a scientific and artistic approach to sweet sensations.
The big new shop has extra upstairs space for the House of Grazioli innovation hub. The fitout is under way at the bottom of the high-rise Residences @ Harbour City and Auckland Harbour Oaks building.
Grazioli said with that shift to the seaside end of town will come a radical new business model offering customers click-and-collect service, new outdoor seating areas and an unusual new menu.
"We're calling it the 'dismaying menu' because it's something people won't be able to believe," Grazioli said referring to new dishes like fries served with either salted caramel or coffee gelato.
"This is about four times the size of our existing premises," he said of the two-level store with an innovation and creative hub at 12 Gore St between Fort St and Customs St East.
"Having that extra space means more research and development can be done. It is our opportunity to showcase a more compelling New Zealand food story to the world," Grazioli said.
Annarosa Petrucci Grazioli said the shift to premises - owned by the business rather than rented - marked more than just a geographic change.
"We've grown up. We've gone through an evolution, having been here for nearly nine years," she said of the business which employs 12 chefs and 26 staff, soon to expand to 35 staff.
"People will be able to order online and over the phone and then pick up here," she said pointing to a new customer service area fronting an adjoining lane. "We feel like we have company at this end of town. It has other restaurants and is more of a dining destination for everyone, more of a restaurant zone."
Giapo Grazioli also pointed to the new Sofitel So hotel directly opposite and many new apartment buildings rising. They would bring thousands more people to the area and being in the cruise ship passenger shopping zone was a further bonus, he said.
"Moving from the high foot traffic location on Queen St had to happen sooner than later," Grazioli said, referring to his dream to give a new gastronomic 'narrative' to ice cream. "The 46sq m Queen St location was not helping the plan anymore."