New gelato shop opens in Midtown Promenade
Updated: Sep 25
Bright blue waves painted across the floor beneath a surfboard coffee table welcome you to the beach-themed Three Peaches Gelato and Coffee shop, the newest BeltLine business coming to the intersection of 10th St. and Monroe Drive on Sept. 13.
Health difficulties led Midtown parent and entrepreneur Kendra Bauser to explore healthy food options that would be included in her shop’s menu. Bauser opened her first Three Peaches Gelato & Coffee location in the Municipal Market in downtown Atlanta three years ago, and it has expanded since then.
“I had a lot of health issues at one point,” Bauser said. “I had thyroid cancer, which caused me a lot of issues with eating sugars, I couldn’t process dairy, I was trying to eat better and exercise for my health to keep that issue under bay.”
Years before opening Three Peaches, Bauser and her two daughters, 2022 Midtown alumna Layla Pirrone and Midtown junior Valentina Pirrone, took a trip to Italy that she said sparked her interest in creating dairy-free gelato.
“Everybody was talking about this incredible gelato place in Sicily,” Bauser said. “We went and [the menu] had a lot of low sugar, non-dairy options, but really good, fun ones. I was like, ‘we got to bring this to the United States because nobody’s ever tasted anything like this and it is amazing.’”
Bauser returned to Sicily in 2017, and spent two weeks learning the science of gelato from El Gelatone, the shop where she found her inspiration. Upon returning home, Bauser went to work translating the techniques of El Gelatone owner Peppe Cuti to her own dairy-free recipes. After years of pop-up shops, she opened Three Peaches in 2020.
“I just had this vision as I would take the kids out during the day, ‘gosh I just wish we had something like this to go to,’” Bauser said. “I had learned a lot about taking care of my own health with my issues and I really like helping people. I know a lot of remedies for things, and people come to me a lot for those things. I was like, ‘I just want a place to express that.’”
The name Three Peaches represents Bauser and her two daughters. Opening the business has been a family effort with designing the logo, deciding where to place machinery and selecting paint colors, Layla Pirrone said.
“We’ve always been super closely knit, but this has been a big thing,” Layla Pirrone said. “We have all played our part in it and it’s really cool to see something that we’ve all worked for really come to life. It’s definitely brought us closer.”
While being trained at JavaVino, an Atlanta-based coffee shop, for coffee and espresso as well as how to run a coffee business, Bauser met Diana Lancaster who had been working in the coffee industry since middle school when her own mother operated a coffee shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When Bauser began her journey of opening the first Three Peaches shop, Lancaster and Bauser went to work developing her drink menu.
“One of the fun things that Kendra does is that she uses real natural ingredients to bring beautiful colors to the drink,” Lancaster said. “It’s not just a delicious beverage, it is a work of art.”
Becoming an entrepreneur was not always Bauser’s dream. With a degree in international business and marketing from George Washington University, as well as majoring in fashion design while attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, Bauser had experimented in many different fields. She said opening Three Peaches was a step in what she was meant to do.
“I’ve gained so much knowledge,” Bauser said. “Why gain knowledge that you know makes you healthy if you can’t spread that around and help people? That’s a huge drive for me. I really want to help people.”
Three Peaches barista and manager Nicole Chinchilla said that the store offers a wide variety for customers including their most popular gelato flavors molasses pecan, lemon basil and caramel truffle.
“I would just say I want everyone to give it a chance,” Chinchilla said. “There’s something there for everybody. I just want everybody to love it as much as I do too.”
Bauser’s goal was not to create a typical coffee shop, but instead a place that would cater to those who are lactose intolerant, similar to a place she had wanted while raising her daughters.
“I really wanted someplace like this to go to with [her daughters] when they were kids,” Bauser said. “I couldn’t go to those yogurt places and get yogurt without feeling sick and I just felt like it was bad for the girls. This place you can get something a little healthier, you take your kids, they can get something dairy-free, lower in sugar.”
Lancaster is proud of the message Bauser continues to bring to Three Peaches’ second location.
“With all the awful things going on everywhere in the world all the time, one of the things that [Bauser] has always said is that she wants it to be a place that you walk in and feel good,” Lancaster said. “Let’s make this world a better place and if that means creating this cute little gelato coffee shop where people can, no matter how their day is going, walk in and feel good, get something that’s healthy, delicious and wonderful, then it’s exciting.”
With the addition of Three Peaches’ second location, Bauser is fulfilling her ambitions of growing her business to a franchise.
“[Opening a second location] is the next step in achieving this dream of making Three Peaches something bigger,” Lancaster said. “[Bauser] has never had a narrow vision of being one little shop. This was something we talked about while opening the original Municipal Market location. This is the next step to the growth of her dream.”
Chinchilla is one of Three Peaches’ longest employees and has seen the growth of the business as it branches over to a second location.
“When I first started, I thought that the place was really cute,” Chinchilla said. “Now I’ve been able to see the growth happen. Just watching her vision come to life, it’s really nice.”
With limited room in the previous location, Bauser made all of her products at home and brought them to Three Peaches. Bauser credits the need for production space as the main reason for a second location.
“There’s no way to grow,” Bauser said. “It’s doing fine down there and I’m getting a lot of positive response with the dairy-free options and the healthier options, but I’m making everything, all the breads, all the gelato. I had to find another location that has a kitchen where I can not only produce there but hire other people to help me with that too.’”
Bauser said the second location of Three Peaches is a “dream venue.” Layla Pirrone feels the new space will be a stepping stone in the expansion of Three Peaches.
“The Municipal Market is great, but it is super small,” Layla Pirrone said. “It’s also just not very well known. It’s well known among Georgia State students, but overall, most people that I talk about the Municipal Market with, they don’t really know where that is and a lot more people know where Piedmont Park is. I think that is going to be a huge difference.”
In addition to more space for production, Lancaster said that having close proximity to the Beltline will increase business.
“[Three Peaches] fits in with the positive part of the development because the BeltLine has so much of getting people out, moving and then seeing everything Atlanta has to offer and I feel like Three Peaches is a part of that,” Lancaster said. “It’s part of the positive side of what the BeltLine means in Atlanta.”
Valentina Pirrone feels that being on this journey with Bauser has taught her to never stop believing in herself.
“She’s shown me that you can do anything,” Valentina Pirrone said. “If you have a vision for it and work towards it, you can really create something.”
Layla Pirrone hopes the inspiration she’s received from her mother’s story reaches others.
“It doesn’t matter where you are or if you’ve been given the shorter end of the stick, I think that you can still make it,” Layla Pirrone said. “I hope that young girls and women of any age feel inspired by what my mom has done and the business she has brought and the community brought by doing this. I hope that means something to people and that people see that.”