Owner and world traveler George Darveaux said inspiration for opening the new eatery came from his trips to over 90 countries and the various types of cuisine he sampled in each.
"I want to open with freshly made gelato and frozen custard, cappuccino and Italian pasta made from durum semolina flour, like they use in Italy," Darveaux said. "Eventually, our menu will feature some of the best dishes from several countries."
"We'll add other exotic cuisine as we go," Darveaux said. "There will always be something to look forward to, a lot of surprises."
As a nod to his world travels, the interior of the café features photos of landmarks and cultures from distant places.
"Most of these photos are of places I've been," he said. "If someone wants to talk about them I'll be happy to. We will also have a 60-inch television mounted in the dining area that will be playing travelogues. People can come here for lunch and take a trip to Rome at the same time."
Darveaux plans to serve eight flavors of gelato, the Italian word for ice cream, as well as vanilla and chocolate frozen custard.
"We use two pounds of fresh strawberries in the strawberry gelato," Darveaux said. "We will also have peanut butter crunch, cookies and cream, banana, vanilla and other flavors.
"Instead of having what other stores call 'concretes,' we're going to have 'Saturdays' and 'sundaes,'" Darveaux said. "We will offer 15 or more different add-ins so people can invent their own sundaes."
The remodel of the former Discount Depot has attracted a lot of attention from local residents.
"I have people stop by about every day asking if we are open yet," Darveaux said. "Not yet, but very, very soon."
In the meantime, Darveaux is handing out free samples of the freshly made gelato, for which he hopes to become famous.
"This is not going to be a typical burger and fries joint," he said. "We will offer freshly made pasta for customers to take and prepare at home."
"I also plan to offer breakfast, which will include freshly baked biscuits and gravy with chorizo, a Mexican sausage," Darveaux said. "We'll feature red velvet waffles, cinnamon French toast and scrambled eggs."
The new eatery will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and feature a brunch from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sundays.
"I'm excited to bring this concept to Barry County," Darveaux said. "There's nothing like it elsewhere in southwest Missouri. Our goal is to play, have fun and come up with something delicious."