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Gemelli Gelato: Local & Authentic from Vincenzo Tettamanti
Food

Gemelli Gelato: Local & Authentic from Vincenzo Tettamanti

Gemelli Gelato West Chester RenderingWho’s ready for authentic, local and delicious gelato?

We’re ecstatic for Gemelli Gelato Desserts & Cafe to soon open up in West Chester!

This upcoming Gelateria pledges to bring you homemade, wholesome, local and organic ingredients for a superior dessert experience. Fresh milk, cream & yogurt are sourced from local Lancaster farms; produce, jams, cheeses & honey are via your local farmers, too. Just check out their full list of ingredients.

Don’t expect flashy, fake colors either. Mint and green apple gelatos come in whites.

Vincenzo & Julianne Tettamanti are the masterminds behind the simple, fresh dessert that will soon takeover West Chester. I’ve known the Italian entrepreneur, Vincenzo, from a previous marketing life and have happily discussed his progress for months.

Recently, I sat down with Vincenzo to find out more about his inspiration behind Gemelli, what we can expect and how he’s sourcing ingredients.

Q & A with Vincenzo Tettamanti, Gemelli Gelato

Vincenzo Tettamanti
Vincenzo Tettamanti, Owner of Gemelli

GPB: You were previously in marketing. Why the jump to opening Gemelli Gelato?

Vincenzo Tettamanti: I have a Masters Degree in Business and worked in marketing for over 6 years, but have been cooking since I was 12 years old.

Moving to the US made me realize how much I actually love cooking. As an Italian, I can find almost all of the ingredients needed for my favorite dishes, but it is hard to find places that make the “real stuff” from home. I continued to make all my favorite foods from scratch here, including my favorite, gelato.

I grew up with gelato, know it really well and wanted a business not as crazy as owning a restaurant. I could bring Italian treats to the US that you cannot find in the area: authentic as possible but familiar, offering treats that are not too wild or elaborated.

I do authentic, simple, homemade and delicious. All food I would give to my kids, I grew up with and am really familiar with.

Green Philly Blog: Where are you from in Italy? 

Vincenzo Tettamanti: I was born and raised in Ferrara, Italy. It is a medieval city, close to Bologna and Venice, 20 minutes away from the Adriatic coast of Northern Italy.

GPB: What brought you to the US?

Vincenzo Tettamanti: In August 2008 I was working in Milano and I met Julianne in a bar during her first week studying abroad in Italy.

A friend of mine approached her group of friends, then I introduced myself too and that night was history. We began dating soon after and it was very sad when she had to return to the US that December. She then came back for spring break in March 2009. I decided to move to US in May 2009 because I could not be far from her!

GPB: You returned to Italy for Gelato training. What did you learn that will make the tasty difference in West Chester?

Vincenzo Tettamanti: The gelato world in the US is still a small place; so there’s plenty of room for creativity and expansion. That is why I am extremely proud to be opening Gemelli Gelato Desserts & Cafe to bring authentic and innovative gelato and desserts to the West Chester clientele.

Gemelli-gelato-Interior-2
Renderings of the inside of Gemelli

I trained extensively with Italian chefs in New York, Bologna, Italy and with one of the best gelato makers in my hometown of Ferrara.

You can easily make gelato with all the products the suppliers sell you like powders, flavor pastes, texture enhancers or food colorings: they give you all the dosage to combine but still come up with a result that looks and tastes pretty far from real gelato. This is how almost everybody works in US, but not at Gemelli.

Real gelato is extremely complex to make, as a balanced mix of fat, sugars, proteins and other solids. When a real “gelatiere” creates a flavor, he uses a chart that looks more like something you would see in a chemistry class to calculate every single ingredient percentages. I know exactly how many grams of fat in every flavor.

Gelato is only as good as its ingredients, the process and skills of the gelato master. In Italy, every shop is required to publicly display all of the ingredients: you can’t hide, and this is how I want to work.

My mission is to bring to the US a piece of my home, true to my roots, but am also not afraid to innovate either, with the best local and organic ingredients.

GPB: What inspired you to use local ingredients?

Vincenzo Tettamanti: In Italy, we shop locally and enhance the local products that are so different from region to region.

I grew up this way, shopping locally and finding the best ingredients possible is a way of life, not just a trend or a fad. I’m so lucky to live in PA, with outstanding local dairies, produce, honey, jams: it just makes my life so much easier.

I craft 100% authentic Italian desserts using all local PA or American ingredients: that is how much I believe in local products.

GPB: What farms are you sourcing from?

Vincenzo Tettamanti: I have not selected all the suppliers yet, but we are working already with several local ones.

GemelliI source all organic milk, cream, ricotta and butter from several farmers in the Lancaster area. Vegetables, fruits, honey, herbs and cage-free eggs are from a co-op also located in Lancaster. Local and seasonal fruits & veggies are from a local farmers market in West Chester. I also use grass-fed mascarpone cheese from Vermont.

In order to take full advantage of what the US has to offer, I buy fresh pistachios directly from a small grower in California and my hazelnuts shipped directly from a family run orchard in Oregon; grounding them in the store every week.

GPB: That’s what we love to hear! What’s your favorite part about living in West Chester?

Vincenzo Tettamanti: America is so different from Italy and Europe in general; it’s a totally new experience. One thing I love about US is the amount of space and that you can literally live in a Caribbean climate, Hawaii or Alaska while speaking the same language and using the same money; it gives you a sense of freedom that is unbelievable.

Also, the people here are different, everybody is usually friendlier, open and in my personal experience, really nice. I was welcomed with open arms. Everybody always tries to make me feel at home.

GPB: What do you miss most about Italy?

Vincenzo Tettamanti: My family, my friends and obviously the food and wine. They just taste different.

GPB: (Sigh). We miss Italian Food and Wine too. 😉 What else do you want Readers to know?

Vincenzo Tettamanti: I’m bringing a piece of my home here to the US for everybody to enjoy. I will be in the store every day, making everything from scratch with the best ingredients possible.

I grew up with what I offer, know it really well and am proud to serve it. This is one of the reason why I came up with the #farmfreshgelato Manifesto!

 

Gemelli_Manifesto-01

 

Follow Gemelli on Facebook to enter to win FREE Gelato for life.

Thanks, Vincenzo for the interview! We can’t wait to see the shop open.

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Julie Hancher
Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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