La Dolci Mania is a cafe first and foremost.
Located in Carolina Forest next to the Ollie’s, the cafe opened this month. It’s currently serving sandwiches, some traditional baked goods and desserts, and starting next week — soups. While it does not have the full offerings of a bakery, everything is made in house with several products coming from Italy.
In addition, they have a variety of espresso drinks, fruit smoothies and Italian sodas. Owner Salvo Giudice hopes to bring the tradition of his native Sicily to the Myrtle Beach area.
“It’s important to bring here the Italian tradition, because I want to bring something new,” Giudice said. “And specifically from the south, Sicily, because I am coming straight from there. I’m not an Italian coming from New York.”
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Giudice grew up on his grandfather’s farm in Sicily, and believes working hard and having a purpose is important. He said the cannoli with cheese ricotta is from the Southern Italy area where he is from, which is generally a more rural and agricultural part of Italy.
He said he chose Myrtle Beach because he became familiar with the area when he was working as an engineer here 19 years ago. His son was born in a Georgetown hospital. There also is a high number of Italian-Americans in Myrtle Beach.
His son is training to be a chef in Italy and hopes to join his dad in the family business. When that happens, Giudice said he might expand the business to be a full bakery.
“It’s a family dream, it’s now just a business,” he said.
The inside is full of round tables, which is by design. Being an engineer, Giudice pays attention to shapes,and he wanted his tables to not put any barriers between the people sitting around them.
The hope for the cafe is that it will be a place for the retiree, the young family and the college student to enjoy. It is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Sunday. Guidice hopes the cafe can become a place to meet and relax, as well as for students to come and study.
He especially hopes students from Coastal Carolina University come down — he tried to keep prices low for younger people without a lot of money. Ultimately, he hopes his location becomes a meeting place for the community.
“Everything you touch here is handcrafted right here,” he said.