By Billy Thomas
There’s an old saying that goes, “the family that scoops gelato together, stays together.” Okay – maybe that’s not exactly how the original goes, but at Hawley’s Gelato and Coffee, the modified phrase rings true. The local, family-owned company that’s known for serving sweet treats in downtown Olympia opened its second storefront on November 15, located inside Capital Mall.
“This [location] has been the culmination of about a year of planning and hard work,” said owner and family matriarch LuWana Hawley. “It’s been an exciting challenge and we’re happy that today is finally here.”
The shop was abuzz with activity on opening night, with friends, families and hungry teenagers – would it be a mall spot without them? – all eager to see the new space. Hawley was busy greeting customers and offering tours. Two of her daughters were “throwing scoops” behind the counter. Her husband was on hand for crowd control. The Hawley family truly embodies the entrepreneurial spirit.
Laney Hawley, one of Hawley’s daughters who is a regular behind the counter downtown, said working in the family business is the best job she’s ever had. “I think my favorite part is the sense of ownership. Like, when a customer comes in I want to jump up and help them because this is my business. I want them to have a good experience.”
LuWana Hawley said she’s proud of her family for embracing her dream of the gelato shop. “Three years ago, I never thought we would be here, standing in the second location of our very own family business!” she exclaimed. “It’s almost like an out-of-body experience sometimes, watching us do what we do. And then I have to remind myself, ‘oh wait – that’s us!’ “
When asked what the secret recipe was to the business’ success, Laney Hawley stressed it was how everyone’s strengths are featured. “My mom does the books so I can scoop.” Peyton, another Hawley daughter, scoops and decorates both locations with original artwork. And Ron, the Hawley dad? He’s the handyman, always making sure the gelato freezers are staying at their designated -10ºF.
Hawley’s at the Mall – the unofficial name for the new space – features 24 varieties of Italian gelatos and sorbettos. The flavors range from the familiar chocolate, pistachio and cherry to more exotic combinations like stracciatella, passion fruit and banana dolce de leche. Also available at the second location are hand made fudges, salt water taffies, Batdorf and Bronson coffee and other sweet snacks. Coming soon to the space are additional signage, window clings, and a gelato selfie station, where customers can pose and post their frozen treats.
Some may say that gelato is a seasonal treat, mainly to be enjoyed in the hot summer months. The Hawleys hope that their second, indoor location will tempt customers year-round. The motto for the new space may be “It’s always Summer at Hawley’s,” but a picture hanging on the wall may have said it better, “a family in harmony will prosper in everything.”
Hawley’s Gelato and Coffee
12 – 8 p.m. Mon – Thurs
12 – 9 p.m. Fri – Sat
12 – 7 p.m. Sundays
10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mon – Sat
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sundays
511 Washington St SE Olympia
Inside Capital Mall (625 Black Lake Blvd SW), across from Century Theater
Prices vary, single scoops start at about $4