Morelli’s provides positive addition to neighborhood


Callan Cucchi

Morelli’s ice cream is located in Virginia Highlands, neighboring Taco Mac.

Callan Cucchi

The smell of waffle cones and sugar fills your nose the second you walk into the shop. Soft lighting illuminates the variety of flavors to choose from.

Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream opened its third location in Virginia Highland. The ice cream shop opened June 18, taking over the space formerly occupied by Yogli Mogli, a frozen yogurt shop.

“After Yogli Mogli shut down, I think the Virginia Highland area was really lacking a place where students and families could hang out,” senior Grace Langan said. “I used to really love going there after school at [formerly] Inman, so Morelli’s brings back that tradition. Plus, it’s a great place for families to be able to walk to after dinner as a treat.”

Donald Sargent and Clarissa Morelli opened the first shop 13 years ago in Ormewood Plaza in Atlanta. Soon after, Bon Appetit magazine listed it as the fourth best ice cream in the US and Fox News included it in the top ten places to get ice cream in the US.

Sargent worked in pharmaceutical sales for 10 years before deciding he wanted to follow his dream of starting a business. The goal of the shop was to create delicious, unique flavors, such as rosemary olive oil, coffee biscoff and key lime pie.

“I think the different flavors really set it apart from other ice cream shops,” store employee Claudia Tanksley said. “They’re always so unique and a little out of the ordinary.”

Earlier this year, a second shop opened in West Midtown in the Chattahoochee Food Works dining hall.

“I’ve been to other locations before, but I’m really glad they opened one in my neighborhood,” Langan said. “There’s so much to do right nearby. It’s a great option to take a break from shopping or to go to after dinner, or just an easy spot to meet up with friends.”

With a business model that involves changing out ice cream flavors daily, Morelli’s stands apart from other ice cream shops.

“My favorite thing about working at Morelli’s was seeing the new interesting flavors that changed everyday and getting to sample them,” Tanksley said.

Similar to other establishments in the service industry, Morelli’s has felt the effects of the pandemic.

“We had to switch to card only and couldn’t do any hand to hand contact with customers, which made things a little more difficult,” Tanksley said. “Overall, it was fine because our Uber Eats and takeout orders increased.”

Morelli’s aims to give back to the community that supports it. The shop supports fundraisers for community playgrounds, charities, schools and childhood development centers.

The shop is open from noon to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and noon to 11 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays. Virginia Highland residents agree that the shop has been a positive addition to the neighborhood.

¨I definitely think it’s been a good thing for the neighborhood,” sophomore Delia Schroeder said. “It gives students a place to go after school. It’s also another option for dessert when in Virginia Highland having dinner.”