Q&A: With Giovanni’s Downtown Gelato in Milton Keynes

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Everyone loves an ice cream, right? Well, our eldest at 4 years-old is absolutely nuts about ice-cream. Throughout the summer we literally lived outdoors and an ice-cream van or kiosk would always be in sight. An ice-cream would usually be an afternoon treat for being good. As we enter Autumn, and are faced with more indoor activities to escape the wet weather, he still asks if he can have an ice-cream if he’s a good boy, but the options for getting his hands on an ice-cream are limited now that the vans have gone into hibernation for winter.

Luckily there is an independent kiosk at centre:mk which serves gelato and they have loads of different flavours to choose from. If you’re a regular to the shopping centre in Milton Keynes you would have noticed the pink and white van, which is a permanent kiosk for Giovanni’s Downtown Gelato, outside Clarks. Being an independent business, we had to try some gelato from them. We also caught up with Filippo from Giovanni’s Downtown Gelato to tell us more about their business.

Q. Where did it all begin for you and Giovanni’s Downtown Gelato? When did you start and what made you want to setup?

A. Giovanni’s Gelato is an established Italian Gelato and dessert company. Opened in the summer of 2013, we have become known for handmade gelato in Milton Keynes and across Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Giovanni’s Gelato is a family run business and proudly serves over 100 flavours of gelato, sorbetti and frozen yogurt all made fresh to order by our team of gelato chefs.

Q. You are one of just a few independent kiosks in centre:mk – how have you coped through COVID-19 and did you receive any support from centre:mk?

A. With the re-opening our kiosk back in June we were fully supported by centre:mk and they continue to do so. We have all the safety measures in place to keep our customers safe so they can continue to enjoy their experience when they come to visit us. This also applies for our staff whom have undergone a covid-19 risk assessment. We have placed window screens on both sides of our kiosk hatches. We also have one of our stools out of use to keep the social distancing in practice. Signs around the kiosk are also in place to remind customers of the one-way system and to maintain social distancing.

Q. What is your most popular flavour?

A. We have many popular flavours but it’s safe to say that the children love the bubblegum and candy floss, the adults love Ferrero Rocher and Salted Caramel.

Q. Finally, what makes Giovanni’s Downtown Gelato unique and why should people try it?

A. We offer the finest gelato this side of Italy! Our recipes for real artisan gelato and sorbets have been handed down through generations. We have seasonal flavours in our showcase cabinet.

Verdict from the boy:

Well, as you can see from the photos, he totally loved it. He had strawberry and said to me it was the best! I had to try it at this point and I would agree. At £6 for a double scoop and a multi-coloured cone you could hesitate at the cost on a regular basis, but for a treat this will go down well for your little ones – and big kids of course. If you had a standard (but still tasty!) cone and a single scoop it would cost £3.50.

Knowing that they are an independent business we will definitely be visiting again in the coming weeks, especially during half-term. To help encourage customers to try some of their gelato, Filippo has kindly offered a 15% discount on all products throughout October until Sunday 1st November for you lovely readers. To take advantage of this, just show a member of staff the below image.

Giovanni’s Downtown Gelato only has the one kiosk in Milton Keynes but you can explore their other flavours and desserts by visiting their website here. So there it is. You now know a little more about that pink and white van ‘up the shops’.

Thank you to Filippo for taking the time to speak to independent mk. We wish them all the best, especially during these difficult times.

Please keep supporting local businesses.

Becca & Stu