Sebastian Silvestro traveled back to his Italian homeland to learn how to make gelato.
After a career in sewing machine mechanics he decided to shift gears because the industry wasn’t what it used to be.
“I wanted to diversify,” he says. “That’s what prompted me to go to Italy and I thought gelato because my background culture. I thought it would be great to bring gelato here and I noticed in the last 10 years it’s been one of the fastest growing businesses around the world.”
Thus, Arte Gelato was born.
With the weather turning colder Silvestro plans on introducing more dishes like panini, pizza and a warmer gelato known as gelato caldo, to his Bloor Street West shop near Dovercourt Road.
“Gelato caldo … it’s not as cold as the actual ice cream itself because the way it’s made,” he says. “It’s got a lot more cream in it.”
The shop currently offers up to 54 flavours of regular gelato, which are made daily in house with many ingredients imported from Italy, espresso based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, croissants and other breakfast options.
“Generally you can make gelato out of anything but there is of course regular flavours, chocolate, lemon and pistachio,” he says. “It’s very healthy actually as long as it is artisanal made, homemade, we know exactly what we put into the gelato and it’s actually full of vitamins.
“Many people just have gelato for breakfast in Italy, it’s like a sandwich, they buy a sandwich with gelato inside.”
Silvestro, who opened his first gelato shop in Oakville, says he wanted to create a store with a comfortable atmosphere. He also added elements like pastel-toned colour changing lights so people would take notice as they passed by on the street.
He plans on adding a patio facing the Delaware Avenue exit of Ossington subway station, he says, because all the pedestrian traffic is one of the perks of his location.
“The response has been phenomenal, I’ve been happy since the first day,” he says, adding the shop had a lineup on opening night.
“It’s a wonderful area and the customers and the neighbourhood, the way it’s been accepting it’s just been great.”
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