WHITE ROCK (NEWS 1130) — At Dolce Gelato in White Rock, a 25 per cent increase in rent –on top of the closure of the iconic pier, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic– means the shop is shutting its doors in July.
Owner Davide Pacifici says he was looking forward to a normal season dishing out scoops to summer strollers after the destruction and subsequent reconstruction of the pier devastated his business.
Instead, after two decades the business on Marine Drive will be closing.
“First of all, we had to go through having a job site site in front of us. We didn’t have any more business, and then came COVID-19,” Pacifici says.
The pier was shut down in late-March after crowds failed to remain physically distant when they flocked there to enjoy warm weather amid the pandemic.
Pacifici says he was aware of the rent increase before COVID-19 struck, and was hoping the business would have a busy summer and be able to withstand it.
“It’s becoming way too much, way too much,” he says.
“The building is not mine, the property is not mine so I guess they can do what they feel like.”
He notes he has not asked for the increase to be halted, nor has he applied for rent relief from any level of government.
“We thought that maybe it’s better if we close in White Rock across from the pier, and reopen next year if we find a new location,” he explains.
The lease is up on July 31, but the shop will shutter a week before that.
Davidici describes himself as “mad and sorry.”
“I’m sorry for all these long-time customers who show us amazing friendship and support,” he explains.
“And then, of course, it’s disappointing because we tried to make a good product every day because I really believe in the slow food, and in good food. It’s sad that a business that makes good food has to leave.”
He adds that the shop usually employs eight or nine students over the summer months, and those young people will now be out of work.