Make us your home page
Everybody's Business

New Yorker says his Italian ices are the real thing

Joseph Morelli says Morelli’s Italian Ice in Winthrop Town Centre brings an authentic taste of Italy to Riverview. He says the ice is blended so that the flavor is infused and stays consistent.

Kim Wilmath | Times

Joseph Morelli says Morelli’s Italian Ice in Winthrop Town Centre brings an authentic taste of Italy to Riverview. He says the ice is blended so that the flavor is infused and stays consistent.

RIVERVIEW — Morelli's Italian Ice opened only about six weeks ago, but owner Joseph Morelli said he can already tell it's going to catch on.

"When someone from the Bronx, N.Y., comes in and says 'Let me try your chocolate,' and he raves about it, you know you've got something," Morelli said. "And when customers come in and they're ice cream or yogurt people who have never tasted a real Italian ice, and they come back, you know the business is going to grow."

The shop, in Winthrop Town Centre next to Regions Bank, serves a different kind of Italian ice than most Floridians are used to, Morelli said.

Many people outside the New York area think of Italian ice as a cup full of ice chips with fruit-flavored syrup squirted onto it. Let it sit for a few minutes and the syrup pools at the bottom of the cup and you've got pure ice on top.

The Italian ice at Morelli's is blended so that the flavor is infused into the ice and stays consistent. And it has a smooth consistency that's more like ice cream than those chipped-ice concoctions, Morelli said. But it doesn't have fat or cholesterol, so Morelli said it's healthier than ice cream.

Morelli had a successful career in sales, but in recent years had been discussing the idea of an Italian ice shop with his family. After the family moved to the Brandon area from Long Island last year and saw how many former New Yorkers lived here, they decided this area was the perfect place to offer real New York-style Italian ice. Morelli, his wife, their son and their son's fiancee opened Morelli's on Jan. 11.

Morelli's offers 24 flavors of Italian ice. It's open from noon until 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and noon until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call (813) 597-3045.

Helicopter company offers photos, tours

PLANT CITY — The slow economy has hurt a lot of businesses, and Tampa Helicopter Services was no exception.

Owner David Edwards said that aerial photographers had always been among his most frequent clients. But in recent months, he noticed that part of his business was slacking off.

He realized the problem was that aerial photography can be prohibitively expensive, so he came up with a way to cut the cost by a third.

His new company, Tampa Aerial Photography, was born last month.

Edwards, an experienced photographer who considered an art career before he discovered aviation, designed and built a camera system that allows him to take photographs while he's piloting his helicopter.

That saves customers significant money, he said.

"Normally, aerial photographers (charge) $300 an hour, and the helicopter costs $600 an hour," Edwards said. "This allows us to just charge a regular rate for the helicopter, with no additional charge for the photographer."

Both the helicopter service and the aerial photography company are based at the Plant City airport. From that location, Edwards said, he can finish many photography assignments in Hillsborough County within half an hour.

Through Tampa Helicopter Services, Edwards also offers aerial tours of the Tampa area. For $300, up to three people can enjoy a half-hour helicopter ride over the Brandon-South Shore area and much of Tampa.

For information, visit or call (813) 986-3724.

If you know of something that should be Everybody's Business, please contact Marty Clear at

New Yorker says his Italian ices are the real thing 02/24/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency and leaders

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and disregarded its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.
  3. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project


    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    Construction is underway for the new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. This view is from atop Amalie Arena, where local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the first piece of what will be the new Water Street District. The USF building is expected to open in late 2019. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
  5. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]