AVIATION, ice cream and wife Stacy are the holy trinity for Hilton local Ben Lawrence–although not necessarily in that order.
His love of gelato started at a very young age when his parents opened a gelataria in Byron Bay in 1988, not long after he was born.
“By 12 I was serving and by 14 I was making gelato,” Mr Lawrence says. “By 18 I had my own shop in Lennox Head.”
At 21 his second passion kicked in, and flying lessons led to a job with Virgin Australia.
“I wanted to give myself a challenge.”
Flying around the country led to passion number three, Stacy, a French tourist he met in Darwin.
She quickly became passionate about Ben and having already visited the port city was happy to settle there.
“She said, ‘we have to live in Fremantle’.”
The couple have just opened Swan River Gelato, just off the Cappuccino Strip, in the heart of Freo.
“We believe Fremantle is about to re-flourish as the leading cultural precent of Perth…and we are betting out future on it.”
He’s taken time out to set up the business and train staff, then it’s back in the air as a FIFO pilot/gelato maker.
While many others use “short-cut” powders, Swan River focuses on traditional techniques and quality ingredients, making gelato from scratch.
The family uses techniques mastered by the Lawrence family for more than 30 years.
“Which is why our gelato has a fresh and creamy taste.”
Where possible all the ingredients are from WA companies, including the milk, fresh strawberries and macadamias. (The mango and macadamia is to die for).
The gelataria is offering $1 single serves this Saturday and Sunday (October 5 and 6) from 11am-1pm.
by JENNY D’ANGER