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Gelateria Çela, perhaps the most famous ice cream shop in the country, is a requisite stop for all of those who visit Durrës.
A visit to the sea-side town cannot be considered complete without getting a taste of the fresh gourmet concoction that is Çela’s ice cream. Reaching this level of popularity in a town like Durrës can’t be easy as, in the relatively small space of this ancient town, the visitor must select among dozens of attractions, ranging from the historical to the cultural, from the sea to the culinary. Yet, next to those ancient names that are forever inscribed in the town’s history, Gelateria Çela has miraculously carved out a space for itself.
Established thirteen years ago by the two Çela brothers, Mondi and Agimi, the ice cream shop became exactly what the brothers intended it to be: a high-standard, artisanal, all-natural ice cream stop. What is amazing is that, at the time of its creation, Durrës lacked the most basic facilities required for such an enterprise, namely 24-hour running water and electricity. As if this was not sufficiently challenging, Albania lacked both the basic ingredients needed for ice cream and a real ice cream culture, one where the cool and creamy substance is enjoyed all year long. Gelateria Çela, of course, changed all of this!
For many others, these challenges may have sufficed in abandoning the venture. Not for Agim, former captain of a local soccer team, or Mondi, who was more than confident in the winning recipe he had gained through his experience making ice cream in Italy. It is perhaps due to this determination that the Çela name is now synonymous with indisputably great ice cream.
Success was certain and, in fact, it did not take too long to reach Çela’s venture. It was, however, of the grassroots kind, a success whose foundation is so stable, it is difficult to shake. It was the Durrës locals who, having become increasingly attached to this pleasant stop, happily advertised it to any visitor in town. Soon enough, word-of-mouth turned Çela into one of the top touristic attractions in the city of Durrës. No local visits Durrës without stopping by!
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As with many success stories, the key to Çela’s accomplishment lies precisely in the quality of the ingredients used. The latter are of crucial importance to both Çela brothers and they devote much of their time and research in selecting the very best, certified local and international suppliers.
To cite only one example, it suffices to know that Çela’s pistachio flavor is made of the most coveted, high-quality Italian pistachio variety: the Bronte Pistachio of Sicily. In addition, the brothers ensure the quality and freshness of the milk used in their product by performing the pasteurizing process in their own lab. To top it all off, they are always striving to lower the sugar levels of their product while retaining the delicious taste. And, indeed, the Çela ice-cream tastes extremely fresh!
Another determining factor in Çela’s success is the sheer variety of flavors. From the most traditional chocolate, hazelnut, and pistachio to the most original flavors like nutella, passion fruit, and çela, here, even the most capricious ice-cream lover will find something he/she loves.
Çela also offers olive oil-based options for those who suffer from diabetes or are lactose-intolerant. For those who prefer a more savory treat, here you can find organic salty ice cream! As in most high-quality ice cream shops, the other cold desserts and semifreddos are prepared with the same love and care as the ice creams.
While some customers have their cold delicious treats in Çela’s pleasant outdoor tables, others prefer to take their ice cream along the breezy promenade by the sea in an experience that can only be qualified as a full Durrës immersion.