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Swoon to bring handmade gelato to Cardiff’s Castle Quarter Arcade


Artisan gelato brand Swoon will open its first Cardiff shop in the new year at the entrance to Duke Street Arcade, overlooking Cardiff Castle.

Swoon’s distinctive black and white shops serve its own handmade gelato alongside speciality desserts such as mini gelato cakes, ‘Swoondaes’ and semifredo cakes. They also serve Italian coffee from Naples and their own pure hot chocolate drinks.

Launched in Bristol in 2016 by the Forte family, Swoon has expanded to have gelato bars in Bath, Oxford and Selfridges Foodhall on Oxford Street, London.

Credit: Swoon

Swoon Gelateria’s, Stefano Tarquinio, a gelato expert based in Bologna, travels the world exploring and developing new flavours to bring to the Swoon chefs. These have been recognised with more than 85 Great Taste stars for Swoon products including being named 2019 Supreme Champion for its Hazelnut Gelato and, most recently, picking up two more three-star awards for its pistachio and chocolate sorbetto.

Swoon always has at least four vegan flavours on offer and last year won Vegan Product of the Year for the UK at the Great British Food Awards for its bacio hazelnut & chocolate gelato.

R-L: Bruno Forte and his sister and co-founder Pat Powell celebrating a Great Taste award with the team

Founder of Swoon, Bruno Forte said:

“My Italian family introduced handmade gelato to the UK over a hundred years ago and Swoon is very much a family business with my wife, mother and sister all involved. That family history and love of gelato drives what we do – it’s why we focus so much on provenance and using only best and purest ingredients in the flavours we craft.

“We design our bars to be chic and distinctive to create relaxed, friendly places where people want to come and hang out – this is particularly true of our new Cardiff shop in its unique, historic Arcade location.

“We can’t wait to be part of the Castle Quarter community here and have lots of plans for getting people involved with what we do. In the past we’ve run gelato seminars – a talk about flavours followed by a blind tasting, we’ve got kids involved in making gelato ‘pizzas’ or helping us to choose new flavours and invent new names for them. It’s going to be fun bringing that Swoon experience to Cardiff.

“New for this season will be Cremino. This is gelato inter-layered with flavoured creams that bring a warmer feel during the cooler months. We’ll also be introducing more special flavours and seasonal products as we move into spring around occasions like Valentine’s day and Easter,” he said.

Simon Blagden, CEO of Swoon Gelato, added

“Cardiff is the sixth location for the growing Swoon business which has ambitious plans for another four openings in the next three years across the south west from our base in Bristol.”

Owen Cahill, partner at EJ Hales, acting on behalf of landlord Mansford LLP, said:

“Artisan gelato is a rapidly growing market all over the world, and we’re delighted that Swoon has chosen Cardiff as its next destination in its expansion and to be part of its future success.

“This is a fantastic award-winning family brand to be welcoming to the historic Duke Street Arcade in a prime location opposite Cardiff Castle. We continue to see strong interest from high quality businesses like Swoon, looking to locate in the Castle Quarter Arcades and in the planned new Castle Quarter Courtyard development,” he said.

Swoon plans to open in early 2023 at 11 Duke Street Arcade, Duke Street, Cardiff.