Winter in Maine. It’s 31 degrees on Maine Street in Brunswick, but for fans of the New England Patriots, it might as well have been the balmy 61 degrees of Atlanta as they streamed into the Gelato Fiasco for the store’s beliCHEX gelato, named for Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Gelato master Alex Huston carried pan after pan of gelato from the kitchen to the case. By 2 p.m. the Brunswick store had sold more than four pans of the slightly salty peanut butter gelato with housemade “CHEX muddy buddies” — CHEX cereal covered in chocolate and powdered sugar.
“It’s a winning formula,” employee Brandon Goldrup told one customer.
By midday Saturday, the store sold out of G.O.A.T., or Greatest of All Treats, inspired by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The goat cheese gelato with a pear swirl is sweet, longtime employee Peter Beltramini said.
“The goat cheese lends a nice creaminess to the base,” he said.
The custom flavors, made this year and last to honor the Patriots’ Super Bowl appearances, were only available in the Brunswick and Portland stores through Sunday.
But on Sunday, it was all about BeliCHEX — with a few people opting for Netflix & Chill (a caramel sea salt base with peanut butter cups, brownie bits and chocolate truffle) or Nor’easter (a Madagascar vanilla bean base with M&Ms, Butterfingers, Oreo Cookies, cookie dough and brownie dough.
Lauren Hook, 29, of Bath arrived with friends all swaddled in down parkas, Patriots’ scarves and pom-pom hats. They’d read about the gelato on the store’s Facebook page and were eager to try a bite before committing.
Mollie Underwood, 32, of West Bath was the last of the group to take a bite. Then, eyeing the nearly empty pan, asked, “Do you have more of that?”
“Lots more,” Beltramini said.
“What’s the biggest size you have?” Underwood asked. “I’ll take a pint.”
Mary and Paul Stuart of Yarmouth each mixed Nor’easter and BeliCHEX. They’d never tasted it before, but as longtime Red Spoon Society members (the store’s frequent buyer club), Mary Stuart said she was confident it would be fantastic.
“I’ve been sick all week and this is my first time out,” she said. “We come here on Valentine’s Day — it’s just wonderful.”