Sweet Orchid opened on Saturday, July 25, at 403 El Camino Real, according to a Facebook post. The space was last the longtime home of Yogurt Stop, which closed in 2018 after more than 30 years of business.
Sweet Orchid is newly opened in Menlo Park's Allied Arts neighborhood. Photo by Elena Kadvany.
According to the website, the original owner, Leslie Wong, opened the Fremont shop in 2009, inspired by gelato she had tried in Rome, Italy. She holds a bachelor's degree in dietetics and a master's degree in food science and nutrition, according to the Sweet Orchid website, and took gelato-making classes and started making her own flavors at home before opening Sweet Orchid.
When Wong retired four years ago, her niece, Kelvina Chan, a longtime Menlo Park resident, took over the business. When the opportunity came up, she jumped at the chance to open a second location in her own community.
Sweet Orchid serves more than 60 flavors of gelato that change daily, from almond and lavender to durian, lychee and chocolate-cayenne. There are also gelato buns (a scoop of gelato inside a flat, warm bun), gelato sandwiches, gelato cakes and gelato milkshakes.
Sweet Orchid also makes sorbet and a variety of baked goods, including taro-vanilla sponge cake, tiramisu, German chocolate cake, hand-piped macarons and mochi, plus coffee and tea. Customers can add boba pearls to any iced drink.
Sweet Orchid Menlo Park is open Tuesday-Wednesday 3:30-8 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday 2-8 p.m. The shop is closed on Monday.