Hi everyone! Great to have you back.
This post is long overdue – sorry for the delay! There’s a lot of excitement going on here – the kitchen’s almost finished, the trailer build-out is nearly complete, and we just went to our first event. I daresay we’ll have gelato within the next week!
So, as I mentioned in our last post, I’m going to back up a bit and share how this gelato adventure began. Any sane person would probably wonder, “Gelato? I mean, sounds cool, could be delicious, but eh… seems pretty random.”
Yes, and no. To get the full picture, we have to rewind to my days as a wee child. My hometown is basically the Mayberry of Upstate New York, which made for a pretty typical rural-ish, small-town upbringing. My brothers and I did normal kid stuff – frog-catching, fort-building, lots of soccer, baseball, school plays, music lessons – you get the idea. All in all, we had pretty wholesome and positive, albeit wicked sheltered, childhoods. Way to go, parents.
At any rate, my mother’s parents emigrated from Italy in the 1940’s, working hard to start a new life in a new country. Our family-packed gatherings at their house always involved way too much food and general chaos (playing stickball in the backyard, building gas-powered bikes in the garage, climbing apple trees, solving the world’s problems, etc.). On my father’s side there was less mischief, but no less fun. My father’s parents would take us fishing, send us to pilgrim camp, and mostly just spoil us rotten. They were all dedicated to family and, through example, taught us the importance of family. I was lucky to have all that, in retrospect.
I was a happy kid, according to my mother. I loved building things and baking, playing the drums and keeping up with the boys in sports. My two insufferable brothers (Tom and Nick – yep, that’s them on the “Our Story” page) clearly made a lasting impact… well, really, that picture says it all.
A lot of what we did centered around family, and on my mom’s side, family centered around food, naturally. I used to help my grandma make pasta and taralli while watching Judge Judy (and still do, actually). I’ve always had a sweet tooth, and at some point I took an interest in making Italian pastries and desserts. I started with pasticiotti and eventually graduated to other treats like sfogliatelle and cannoli cakes. Eventually, pastries became my go-to, and I couldn’t help but love making something delicious to share and enjoy with others.
Since the age of 14 I can remember wanting to open a pastry shop. It sounded like fun. But I always had reservations, and it seemed more like a glorified hobby than a true calling. So I stuck to my studies and continued to find a good career fit. I was a nerdy math and science kid in high school, so I set off to college thinking that I wanted to be a biomedical engineer. It wasn’t a good fit; I needed more hands-on learning. After bouncing around from woodworking to fine art to welding to computer science to who-knows-what-else, I somehow landed on my feet, basically as a self-proclaimed industrial designer.
Amid all that I took Italian language classes. They were, in fact, one of the most important things I did in college. Learning Italian was a connection to my heritage and a bit of insight into the world that my grandparents grew up in.
My junior year of college, I decided to study abroad. That landed me in Bologna, Italy, a university city in the Northern region Emilia-Romagna. It was awesome. Without even knowing it, that’s where the story of The Cremeria began.
And that’s where we’ll leave it for today.