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Enna Now Offering Gelato on State Street

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Enna’s Shannon Bates serves up gelato to cousins (from left) Addison Wimble of Essex, Hailey Wimble of North Hero, and Lily Nesbitt of Northfield. Photo by John Lazenby.
Gelato in nine to twelve flavors is now being offered at the yellow Enna store at 14 State Street in Montpelier, continuing the downtown gelato tradition started in 2012 by Chill, whose owners decided not to open again after the flood.

Shannon Bates, owner of Enna, became friendly with the most recent owners of Chill, Alec and Amanda Long, and decided to purchase the portion of Chill’s gelato equipment not damaged by the flood from the Longs and buy the other necessary equipment and a display case. Chill was operated for many years by Theo and Nora Kennedy and their children.

“It’s going great!” said Bates, who opened the gelato portion of her business in May. She saw steady after-school business until the schools closed in mid-June, and has also seen her gelato sell well both before and after the dinner hour.

Gelato, often referred to as Italian ice cream, has less milkfat than regular ice cream. It has less cream and more milk and is softer, denser, and with smaller ice crystals than ice cream, Bates said. It is also churned at a slower speed than ice cream, so it has less air.

Some recipes are holdovers from Chill, such as the ever-popular Salted Caramel flavor, Bates said, but she also is developing her own recipes, such as Basil Honey, as well as refining classics like Vanilla, Strawberry, Pistachio, and Espresso.

“Gelato has to be fresh,” Bates said. “That’s why we are open seven days a week.” Extra product is kept in the freezer, however, in case a flavor runs out. An employee said they had three tubs of Salted Caramel gelato in the freezer, but “that will be gone tomorrow.”

Bates, who grew up in Woodbury, has an extensive culinary resume. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, she has cooked or taken courses in Vietnam, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Spain, Japan, and Mexico. She has also served as a private chef on yachts in the Caribbean and Italy, where Bates had “lots of exposure to gelato.”

Enna opened three years ago and offers a wide variety of lunch fare, from an Acai bowl to sandwiches and paninis and a veggie curry with rice. She and her four employees (one full-time, three part-time) also do catering.

Last summer’s flood hit Enna hard, with a lot of equipment lost and the floor and walls ruined. Bates had high praise for her landlord, Lucky Boardman of Vermont Rental Solutions, for replacing the floor and walls at no cost to her. She said she would not have been able to re-open without him and without the local outpouring of philanthropic support for Montpelier’s downtown.

Enna re-opened on Nov. 4, 2023, and business has been steady since, she said. With the addition of gelato, Bates and crew are working longer hours. 

Gelato is available Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Bates says that she plans to soon extend the closing hour by an hour each day.

Cups of gelato are available in two sizes, for $5 and $7. Pints cost $12, while cones cost $6 for small or $8 for large.

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