Dining in (and out) in Sherwood Park will never be the same, as Alberta-based Italian Centre Shop is set to open doors to the shop’s fifth location at 8005 Emerald Drive on Wednesday, July 21 at 11:00am. The largest location to date at 22,500sq. ft. showcases a licensed 50-seat cafe, 30-seat patio, 70 ft. deli counter and the quintessential favourites the shop has provided to food lovers for over six decades.

“The excitement area residents have shared with us since making the announcement in February 2020 at Emerald Hills Urban Village has been overwhelming.” says Teresa Spinelli, owner and president of the Italian Centre Shop. “Despite a global pandemic – we’re opening on time and that’s a true testament to our partners, team and the community. We can’t wait to open these doors and bring joy to the hearts (and stomachs) of our new friends and neighbours.”

Designed by OCI Architecture, this brand-new build is influenced by the Spinelli family’s passion for Italian culture and tradition, with a twist. Find hints of classic Italian architecture in shelving mimicking Roman aqueducts and hand-carved, cathedral-style wall adornments. To long-time customers, nostalgic throwbacks to the shop’s flagship location are found in the imported tile and flooring throughout the space, paired with state-of-the-art fixtures and custom-crafted finishes. Italian marble and solid walnut accentuate serving and eating areas of the cafe. Roused by Sherwood Park’s reputation for producing many of Canada’s finest athletes and hosting world-class sporting events and tournaments, a glance upwards from just about anywhere in the store will unveil a nod to European sport – bocce, cycling, swimming and football (soccer).

“This location is truly a culmination of the best elements from each of the existing Italian Centre Shop locations,“ says Sid Assaf, principal and lead designer of OCI Architecture. “We’ve designed this space to be a shopping experience to awaken all five senses and to charm and delight everyone who visits, each time they visit.”

Exclusive offerings include a Tavola Calda (hot table) featuring ready-to-eat Italian comfort foods, a full-service pizza bar and an in-house gelateria, making fresh gelato inspired by ingredients from store shelves. Tried and tested over the past few weeks, find products like Torrone (Italian nougat), oven-roasted hazelnuts and freshly squeezed lemons infused into the treat served all year-round by the cup or cone.

“This location is the first to open that’s brand new from top to bottom, so we’re going to have some growing pains and want to ask shoppers for patience and kindness as our team gets comfortable in this beautiful new space.” says Teresa, “The energy here is electric and I know my late father Frank, would be so proud of everyone who played a part in creating this new place for the community to gather. We continue to be so grateful and blessed.”