NORFOLK, Va. — Gelato is a skill just like any other. It takes time, patience, and technique.
But, for Heather Wynn, creating authentic gelato is a passion, and it's a skill she's bringing to Norfolk.
Strawberry Fields sits on Colley Avenue. It's a small gelato shop, but the flavors inside are big - and it all comes down to the right recipe.
"You can't find it in books, you can't find it online, its one of these processes that are like orally handed down through generations of Italian chefs, so I feel very special that I know the formula," said Wynn.
Wynn's love for creating has always been a big part of her life. She brings that piece of who she is into the gelato and smoothies she makes inside Strawberry Fields.
"Everything is made from scratch, all the baked goods, all the mix-ins, some of them are like lifelong recipes from me. I've been baking since I was like 11," Wynn laughed.
They don't just serve gelato by the scoop. You can also ask for a smoothie. Wynn says they create their smoothies with gelato and fresh fruit.
Smoothies are a unique piece of how Strawberry Fields got its start. Wynn says the first gelato creation she made was a smoothie at her parents' bagel shop in the Outer Banks. After that, she knew she needed a spot to show off her work.
Strawberry Fields is a small building on the corner. Customers haven't been allowed inside since the pandemic hit, because the inside is so tiny. That's why you can find Strawberry Fields with a new makeshift storefront on the sidewalk outside of the store.
But even with COVID-19's tough times, the community is overwhelmingly supportive.
"It's been a nice time of positive affirmation," Wynn said. "People would come and say that this tiny little shop means something to them. It was pretty cool."
The community's support isn't shocking with the flavors coming out of the shop.
As the seasons change, so do the creations. There are things like pineapple mojito and watermelon for the summer.
"Now we are looking into the fall, and I can't wait for the oatmeal cream pie; and when Christmas rolls around, I can't wait for gingerbread cookie dough," smiled Wynn.
No matter the flavor you choose, as soon as you take a bite of this gelato, you can tell it's the real deal. It's smooth and comforting. All the flavors are made in-house. Nothing is artificial, which shows in the first through the last bite.
And if you were curious, yes, the name Strawberry Fields comes from the iconic song by The Beatles.
"My husband and I are big music fans, and we have to sneak in music references wherever we can. I've definitely had people sing the song to me over the counter, which is not awkward at all," Wynn laughed.
If you'd like to grab a scoop or two at Strawberry Fields, you can visit them at 1510 Colley Ave., Norfolk.