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Hanover Gelato Store Sold

Hanover — The Morano Gelato store on Hanover’s Main Street will have new owners on Sept. 1.

Morgan Morano, who started the Italian sweet treat shop three years ago and has overseen its rapid growth in both size and popularity, will stay on as “head chef” at the Hanover store and will retain ownership of Morano Gelato Inc. while exploring expansion possibilities.

The the Hanover store has been sold to Upper Valley residents Pam and Bill Miles and newcomers John and Jennifer Langhus, Morano said Friday.

“I’ve given this a lot of thought since when I first started. I think we can keep the high quality, and it will give me time to focus on expanding the flavors and the brand,” she said. “All four of the new owners have strong business backgrounds and have ideas for growing the shop, like adding a gelato cart and doing some other things.”

Morano doesn’t plan on an easier schedule but will spend her extra time developing new recipes, attending national gelato conferences and looking into new locations for the Morano Gelato shops.

“I’ve been interested in Boston for some time, and I want to look into that. I think in the next year to year and a half, I’ll have a second location either in Boston or farther south. I think we’ll continue to grow. Whether it’s as company owned or franchised, I’m not sure.”

What impressed her with the new owners’ was the “commitment to the community and business experience that will make them the perfect people to carry Morano Gelato forward … and they love gelato,” Morano said in a news release.

After spending six years living in Italy, training as a chef and focusing her efforts on learning how to make authentic Italian gelato, Morano made her business debut at the weekly Hanover Farmers Market in June 2010.

Her gelato was a hit, and by July, she moved the business to the back of Rosey Jekes Cafe, offering six to eight flavors.

By May of the next year, she had opened on Main Street, next to the Nugget Theater, with a selection of 13 flavors that she makes fresh each morning in small batches.

When Helium shoes closed in the adjacent space last year, Morano expanded again and added a menu featuring Italian sandwiches and soft drinks.

“This (selling the Hanover store) is a big step for me, but it’s something that I’ve thought about for a long time.”