Caffe Romeo – An Interview with the Owner, Mario Sommella
- Where in Italy are you from?
I am from Napoli, which is located in beautiful south Italy, where there is the highest quality Espresso in the world and food is a “religion”!
- What made you move to Charleston, WV of all places?
As the economy continued to decline in Italy, I decided to roll the dice on the United States. I started my career in the States as a Sale Consult for one of the best Italian companies that produce ingredients, Gelato, Ice Cream, Sorbet, and Pastries in Washington D.C. My wife, Melissa, is originally from Charleston. After spending a little time here, I had a very warm feeling from the people and just about the city itself. So, after a while, I decided that I wanted to spend my time here opening my first business and offering these fantastic people the best of my culinary skills about the world of Frozen Dessert and Italian Coffee, sharing with them the love and passion for joy of our palates, bringing to Charleson the first authentic homemade artisan Gelato.
- Why gelato and coffee?
I was in a family coffee shop business for 25 years in my hometown of Naples. With that experience under my belt, I decided to further my education. That’s where studying to become a gelato chef became a passion, giving free rein to my creativity in order to make as many people happy with products made with love.
- How did you get started doing this?
I have always been a very artistic person, whether it be painting, music, or as well as creating my own coffee and gelato brand. I want Caffe Romeo to reflect all of these qualities about myself, as well as my family and team here at our shop . We strive to create a social and friendly atmosphere while providing the very best in our products.
- How long have you been in business here?
I am happy to say we will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary in June of 2019.
- What’s your favorite flavor?
That’s a very difficult question. I enjoy all the traditional flavors, but am always so excited about introducing new flavors as well. I guess the answer would be all of them!
- Any plans for the future?
We have a lot of great ideas and plans! Stay tuned for anything new.