Thursday, March 23, 2023

Applause: Gelato and one of a kind gift shop to open next month in Franklin

Franklin residents are in for a sweet addition to their downtown Main Street this Spring.  Applause, a Gelato Shop and Unique Finds gift store is set to debut at 34 Main Street, the former location of The Spotlight Shop.

This is the first Gelateria to be offered in Franklin, and the only one within a 20-mile radius of the downtown area.  The aim is to offer a true artisan Italian-style Gelato shop in Franklin, featuring flavors that deliver unparalleled texture and taste.  In keeping with Italian tradition, Applause Gelato will offer authentic Gelato perfection in every bite with the use of the finest ingredients from around the world including Real Belgium Chocolate, Italian Nut Paste, Argentine Dulce de Leche, Alphonso Mangos from India, Sicilian Blood Oranges, Madagascar Vanilla, and more.  

The shop will offer eight flavors in rotation including vegan options.  Customers can expect to see classics like Chocolate, Birthday Cake, Cookies and Cream, and Coffee gelato, but also more complex flavor profiles, such as Bourbon Vanilla Apple Crisp, Roasted Banana Dolce de Leche, and Maple Roasted Butter Pecan.

Founder and Franklin resident Raye Lynn Mercer, who is the Director of the neighboring Franklin School for the Performing Arts, is an avid traveler with an affinity for European Culture.  Her 20+ years of annual travel to Europe with her teen sensation music ensemble, Electric Youth, was the impetus for her unique vision to offer an authentic, European dessert experience in the heart of our downtown.  “I hope Applause provides a unique experience for patrons and helps draw visitors to Main Street,” says Mercer.

Perhaps what makes this experience different from any other, is its fusion of artisan Gelato with artisan gifts within a one of kind retail space; a space which incorporates bold colors, eclectic exuberance, and European tradition with a modern flair. From copper ceiling and stools, to modern pendants and beautiful live edge counters, the shop features classic interiors that have been beautifully reimagined for today's taste, with a vibrant traditional European look.  

The concept and design of the space and management of the renovation has been under the direction of Marcie DiChiara and Kylie Bodiya of Franklin.  “It has been a thrilling opportunity to be a part of the creative design team for Applause,” DiChiara notes.  From inception to the final finishing touches, we really strived to created a particularly unique and inviting aesthetic.  I think Franklin residents will be excited to have this new addition in the heart of their downtown.”

Mercer adds, “Our goal is to marry the concept of a Gelateria with a unique, one of a kind global treasures gift shop.  The product offerings in our retail space will be made up of one off, custom curated, and hand-crafted pieces, specially selected for Applause.”  Inspired by her global adventures, her aim is to offer gifts such as jewelry, apparel, home accents and art pieces that are one of a kind, and never duplicated.  Mercer also plans to incorporate some local flair into the mix as well, drawing from local artists and creators who offer unique giftables and artisan treasures.

Applause will celebrate with a formal ribbon cutting by invitation on April 6th and will be featured at the annual Culinary Cabaret at THE BLACK BOX on April 7th.  Doors will open to the public on Saturday, April 8, noon – 4:00 p.m. 

Preliminary spring hours of operation will be Wednesday – Friday, 3:00-7:00 p.m. and Saturday, 12:00-4:00 p.m.  When you are welcomed into Applause, whatever you do… don’t call it ice cream!

Gelato and one of a kind gift shop to open next month in Franklin
rendering of "Applause" the new gelato shop downtown

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