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Boki Gelato and Lion’s Club popcorn two popular International Festival food offerings

WORTHINGTON -- Borjan Jaksic of Boki Gelato is returning to the International Festival for a third year, bringing his homemade sweet-and-icy treats for Worthington area residents to enjoy.

WORTHINGTON - Borjan Jaksic of Boki Gelato is returning to the International Festival for a third year, bringing his homemade sweet-and-icy treats for Worthington area residents to enjoy.

“We’re based out of Sioux Falls, and I started our gelato place a little more than three years ago. We make everything from scratch - for example, we’ll be bringing six pounds of fresh strawberries along - and it tastes really, really good,” Jaksic enthused.

Since its inception three years ago, Boki Gelato has seen success, with both a location in the Empire Mall and a food truck, and a potential downtown solo brick-and-mortar location currently in the works. The inspiration for Jaksic’s frozen entrepreneurial success came, perhaps not surprisingly, from Europe, where gelato is more widely produced than in the United States.

“I’m originally from Europe, I was born there, but I’ve lived here all of my life. I love traveling, and when traveling around Europe, there’s good gelato everywhere, and I really wanted to bring that fresh authentic taste here. It’s healthier for you than ice cream, and in the Midwest, there’s hardly any gelato, so I wanted to bring some here,” Jaksic explained.

The past two years at the International Festival were fun, said Jaksic, and this year, he will bring along another culinary delight: “We’re also going to have a mobile stand serving european street food - beef, chicken, and vegetables - in addition to the gelato.”

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Of the food options at the Festival, Jaksic said, “We had a really good time, it’s a great event with culture and food from around the world. It’s a really unique smaller local event, and maybe there’s food you’ve never tried in your life, but here you can try it.”

A salty mainstay at the International Festival is the Worthington Lions Club’s offering of popcorn, along with cotton candy and water.

“We’ve participated in it every year since it’s started, and we have our popcorn and cotton candy machines, as well as water,” Stan Dopheide, Worthington Lions Club president and 40-year Lions member, said.

The Lions Club, for those who may not be familiar, aims to “Help with eyesight conservation, hearing loss prevention and diabetes prevention,” Dopheide said. All proceeds from the Lions’ festival stand will go directly toward their charity work, with 20-plus Lions members volunteering throughout the festival to keep things running smoothly.

For this year’s iteration of the Festival, Dopheide is optimistic and looking forward to good weather.

“We always hope for good weather - it’s an outdoor activity of course. They always have a large variety of cultural entertainment, and it’s always been very successful. I enjoy the volunteer event and helping the worthy causes we support with our work,” Dopheide said.

In addition to Dopheide and Jaksic’s stands, food lovers can anticipate Gyros and More, Bubbles and Beyond, Mamma Watzz West Texas BBQ, Olivia’s Tacos and Pupusas, Socorro Hernandez Paplesicos, Taste of Laos, Sibley Snow, Long Branch and Elaine Knuckles this July.

Related Topics: FOOD
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