Three native Italians moved to Austin in November 2012, opened a gelato shop in January 2014 and are now planning to expand their business.
Brother and sister Marco and Francesca Silverstrini own Dolce Neve along with Leo Ferrarese. They combined to bring their childhood memories to those who enjoy authentic Italian cool treats.
"During the summer times almost every night a group of kids was going to the local gelato shop, and it was kind of a ritual. It was one of the best memories of my childhood," Marco said. "I always thought a gelato shop was a place that people could go to forget about all the problems that they had."
After visiting cities throughout the U.S., the trio deemed Austin the best fit for their shop. The team wanted somewhere where they could feel like a part of the neighborhood and provide a stress relief outlet for patrons, Marco said.
Already serving the South Austin area, Dolce Neve next intends to open a shop in East Austin, but Marco said he could not reveal any more information because the expansion is still in the early stages.
Made from scratch
Most gelato shops use premade mixes as the base for their batches, according to the Dolce Neve owners, who said they insist everything be made from scratch. Marco said he does not know of any other gelato shop in the U.S. that makes the frozen treat the same way his team does.
He physically cringes while talking about making gelato by any other method.
"[Customers] see that we are honest with them. We have an open kitchen so people can actually see what we can do," Marco said. "Ultimately I think the quality of the gelato is something people can see is different from most of the ice cream and gelato they've had."
Even though it may not be as healthy as eating vegetables, gelato at Dolce Neve can make for a healthier dessert, according to Marco.
"If you look at the ingredients in gelato, you're going to come up with a product that has very good nutritional value. You'll have milk, a little bit of eggs and all the vitamins of the fruits. Generally gelato has less fat and less sugar than ice cream," Marco said.
Gelato to some may look easy to make, but Marco said it involves a good bit of chemistry and math when done from scratch. Most Dolce Neve flavors take two days to complete, he said. That would take longer if not for everything being done on-site to help speed up the process, according to Marco.
The flavors served at the proposed East Austin shop would be crafted at the original South First Street location before being transported, he said.