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Ria Cafe offers a little taste of Europe

The Mocha Gellate drink at Ria Cafe in West Roxbury.
The Mocha Gellate drink at Ria Cafe in West Roxbury. Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe

At age 11, Pamela Bardhi was already working in her family’s West Roxbury pizzeria and sandwich shop, West Napoli Pizza. At 18, she was managing the place. “I always wanted my own business,” she says, “a fun, modern store like in Europe.” Inspired by a visit to the Albanian town where she was born, and a trip to Rome, where the family lived before they immigrated to Boston, Bardhi devised a business plan during her junior year at Stonehill College in Easton, where she was in the entrepreneurship program. In April, the 23-year-old opened Ria Cafe, a small gelato and pastry shop adjacent to her family’s pizzeria. In the sunny, triangular-shaped, seven-seat space, with one bright red wall and two Z-shaped leather chairs, Bardhi offers 16 flavors of gelato ($2.95 to $4.95), including salty caramel, white chocolate, and dulce de leche, served in plastic Italian petal cups. Breakfast pastries, slices of cheesecake, and lemon squares fill a case. Specialty drinks include latte with a tiramisu-flavored syrup, a frozen coffee drink with a scoop of gelato, and fruit smoothies blended with Greek yogurt. Though her intent is to give customers a little taste of Europe, says the new entrepreneur, “I tweaked everything to my liking.” Ria Cafe, 5 Bellevue St., West Roxbury, 617-477-4201,

www.riaboston.com.

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ANN TRIEGER KURLAND