Longtime regular and colourful Byron local Kool, often seen shaking his pineapple and hooping his hulas at the Northern, just across the road from In the Pink.
By S Haslam
In the Pink Gelato in Jonson St opened on 1 September 1988 (30 years ago)* and is an incredibly popular place, serving around 200,000 gelatos a year. Surprisingly, their customer base has moved from being families in the 80s and 90s (most popular flavour then: chocolate) and is now almost 90 per cent adults (most popular now: Ferrero Rocher and salted caramel Nutella)
I suspect it’s the quality – they have always made their gelato from scratch in the old-school Italian artisan style, sourcing fresh blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and bananas from the farmers market, and macadamias, passionfruit, limes and mangoes locally, along with Norco milk of course.
‘The rule for the most outstanding flavour in all foods holds good for gelato with the in-season fruits being the best by far’, says owner Glen Lawrence, who takes his craft seriously, travelling regularly to Italy to keep up with the latest ideas.
‘Most gelato these days is industrial, heavy on stabilisers, emulsifiers’, he says. ‘Artisan to me means old school slow style. Maximum freshness with minimal stabilisers. If you drop our gelato on the ground it will melt; scarily much of the gelato in Australia and Italy would not.
While many might resent having to travel to Italy to try gelato, Glen somehow manages to make it fun. ‘In Sicily I tried my favourite gelato’, he says, ‘at a small hole-in-the-wall shop. You couldn’t see the gelato but they only used seasonal ingredients and it was outstanding.’
He also loves the cultural aspect to gelato. ‘The Italian Sunday afternoon promenade is a huge ritual that nearly always includes gelato,’ he says. ‘It is a firm part of their way of life that looks pretty nice from a gelato shop-owner perspective.’
The newest flavours at In the Pink over winter have been the very rich chocolate sorbet (dairy free) and Espresso Martini or Lemon Cheesecake gelato. The shop manufactures all its product in Byron Shire, suppling not only Baylato and Brunswick Milkbar but also local restaurants. ‘The best chefs understand that the best gelato flavours are seasonal’, says Glen, ‘and some of the more interesting flavours we’ve been putting on menus have included dragon fruit, or cocktails sorbets like mojito or cosmo.’
The difference between gelato and ice-cream is the fat content and freshness. Gelato has less than eight per cent fat and is meant to be consumed fresh, with the flavour being at its peak for a few days without all the stabilisers and artificial products that commercial ice-cream has to use to last for months.
In the Pink has been a proud, long time sponsor of many sporting groups and schools in the local area for 30 years. There have been hundreds of local junior employees working their way through school and uni at In the Pink but maybe the most famous is now an Oscar winner living in London with his own animation company.
*Right now to celebrate the 30th year there’s a big promotion going on. You can win a year’s supply of gelato (52 take home packs, value $900+), drawn at the end of October.
Plus, there are happy hour(s) $1 gelato from 12 till 2pm on Saturday and Sunday September the 1st and 2nd.
More info: In the Pink 20A Jonson St, Byron Bay
Open: 9am–10pm 7 days.