Maple Valley woman seeks to fit Italian gelato shop within the rural community setting
By TJ MARTINELL
Covington Reporter Reporter
June 21, 2012 · Updated 9:43 AM
Amy Shadd and Alev Seymen don’t want to just introduce Maple Valley to gelato.
They also want to introduce gelato to Maple Valley.
Typical gelato shops have fancy Italian-inspired names, such as Creme or Bottega Italiana.
“It didn’t feel like us, like Maple Valley,” Shadd said.
Shadd said they decided on something a little more personalized for Maple Valley and selected the moniker Nutty Squirrel.
“We though it was kind of fun,” she said. “It fits Maple Valley. We want it to really be about Maple Valley.”
Set to open in August, Nutty Squirrel will be located at Maple Valley Town Center which is anchored by the recently opened Fred Meyer. It will feature a variety of gelato flavors as well as sorbets.
Seymen, who studied architecture in Rome, will design the interior look, which Shadd said will be tailored for Maple Valley’s young families.
Shadd and Seymen first met through their husbands, when Seymen introduced Shadd to gelato, Italian ice cream, at her family’s gelato shop in Seattle called the Fainting Goat.
Rather than cream, gelato is primarily milk based, contains less air as ice cream and is served at a higher temperature. This, Shadd said, gives gelato a more intense flavor and is also more healthy than ice cream.
“I’m (also) really drawn to it because it’s delicious,” she said. “As a mom, I like it because it’s really wholesome. It’s art. It’s a treat I feel good about giving to my family.”
Shadd said they first became interested in opening a gelato shop after Fred Meyer announced it was opening a store in Maple Valley. After making up excuses for them to drive to Seattle for gelato, Shadd said, they felt like Maple Valley needed one of its own.
“We decided to take the plunge and see what happens,” she said. “I think that’s going to be the most exciting, introducing it to the community.”
To prepare for their first business venture, Shadd said, she has taken gelato classes through an Italian gelato master.
Shadd added that Nutty Squirrel will include a window for customers to watch the gelato prepared, an outdoor eating area and a small kids’ play section.
“I know there’s a lot of stay at home moms with kids who’d love for a place to go,” she said.
Shadd said that they will probably hire four to five employees to work in the shop.
Depending on how business goes, they might add greater selections and varieties.
Contact Covington Reporter Reporter TJ Martinell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-432-1209 ext. 5052.