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GiGi’s Ice Cream Delights Punta Gorda Locals with Homemade Flavors and Vibrant Atmosphere

by Alice

Larry and Anna Marie “Gigi” Mishkin, upon relocating to Punta Gorda three years ago, noticed a gap in the local ice cream scene. Determined to fill it, they embarked on a venture that has since become a beloved fixture in the community – GiGi’s Ice Cream shop.

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Nestled at 311 W. Marion Ave. in downtown Punta Gorda, GiGi’s has quickly garnered a devoted following among locals, thanks to its array of fresh, homemade ice cream flavors served in a welcoming atmosphere.

Expansion plans are already underway, with the Mishkins set to introduce a line of coffee, espresso, cappuccinos, and a candy wall by December, further enhancing the shop’s offerings.

Employing a team of 11 staff members, GiGi’s prides itself on serving 32 flavors of hard-packed ice cream made from a premium dairy mix, alongside soft-serve ice cream and gelato, all crafted in-store. The Mishkins transformed a former 2,200-square-foot convenience store into a vibrant destination for ice cream enthusiasts.

Larry Mishkin, drawing inspiration from his childhood memories of Carvel soft-serve ice cream, sought to create his own signature variation. Using a fresh dairy mix sourced from Sarasota, boasting cream, sugar, and 14% milk fat, GiGi’s ensures a “premium mix” for its indulgent treats.

The ice cream-making process is a labor of love, with Mishkin personally overseeing the churning and flavoring stages to guarantee top-notch quality. Emphasizing the difference in taste achieved through using real dairy ingredients, GiGi’s aims to offer a superior ice cream experience to its patrons.

Beyond his role as the ice cream shop owner, Larry Mishkin is also a national sales manager for Origin, a packaging company, and has developed his own organic bug spray brand, Larry’s Bug Away, available for purchase at GiGi’s.

Yet, GiGi’s remains Mishkin’s pride and joy, fueled by the warmth and support of the Punta Gorda community. As he reflects on the shop’s journey, Mishkin expresses gratitude for the kindness and encouragement received from locals, underscoring the heartfelt dedication poured into crafting each batch of ice cream.

GiGi’s Ice Cream stands not only as a testament to the Mishkins’ entrepreneurial spirit but also as a symbol of unity and delight within Punta Gorda’s vibrant culinary landscape.

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