This week Laura and Sara are joined by Karla Koziura owner of FRÍO Gelato. FRÍO Gelato is made in an allergen-friendly kitchen with a nut and gluten-free focus and is 100% handmade. With four locations throughout Evanston and Chicago including their brand new location at Navy Pier, you can find FRÍO in Andersonville at 5152 N Clark.
“Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams if it’s something you’re passionate about, I think that passion shows”
Listen to Episode 57!
Here are some notes from Episode 57 that you may want to check out:
- Karla, in all of her kindness, brought Laura, Sara, and Andy some delicious gelato samples! Here are the flavors she brought:
- Dulce de Leche Gelato—Dulce de Leche is essentially caramelized milk. Click here to read more
- Sambayon Gelato, which is egg custard with Marsala wine. Traditionally, Sambayon is made with port wine – Frio does it with Marsala because of the higher level of sweetness and it’s made in Argentina!
- Limon (Lemon) Sorbet
- Maracuya (passion fruit) Sorbet
- The two sorbets are water-based and contain no dairy.
- FRÍO is also participating in Wine Walk (On 5/19—tickets on sale now!), and will be serving Sambayon as well as their Malbec con Frutos Rojos (Malbec with Red Berries), as a delicious addition to a classic Andersonville event.
- Karla grew up in Los Angeles and is half Ecuadorian, half american. She grew up speaking Spanish at home and traveled internationally to visit family often, making her a natural fit for her previous job in international marketing.
- Karla also comes from a background of broadcast journalism. She is an entrepreneur at heart, and her husband, Sebastian, comes from an entrepreneurial family. It was her husband and his cousin, Enrique, that founded FRÍO; Karla does all of the marketing for the business.
- One question that they often get asked is “why gelato?” Well, it turns out that Gelato is a favorite of Sebastian and Enrique’s bringing back memories of going to get gelato with their grandmother in Argentina. Starting a gelato business was something that Sebastian, Enrique, and Karla discussed until it started to unfold in 2013.
- Now, in 2019, FRÍO has four locations – Andersonville was its 3rd when it opened in October of 2018. Recently, they have started working on a fourth location on Navy Pier. The FRÍO team chose Andersonville because it is usually busy, and the vibrant, supportive community that’s loyal to local businesses allows them to thrive.
- For those of you that don’t know the difference between ice cream and gelato, here’s the scoop:
- Originating in Italy, gelato is a mix of milk, cream, and custard. According to Italian law, gelato must also have a minimum of 3.5% butterfat. When Italians traveled Westward to America, they realize they could make larger batches if they whipped more air into the mix. They realized that this fleshes out the flavors of the gelato, so they had to add more fat, more cream, more flavoring, and more sugar, which is the ice cream of today.
- Gelato is essentially the concentrated version of ice cream. It is more dense, closer to the natural ingredients, and usually lower in fat. It is also served at a warmer temperature and has a distinctively different mouthfeel.
- Read more about the history of gelato here.
- FRÍO specializes in Argentine gelato, which differs from Italian gelato in these ways:
- Flavors: Italian flavors are usually sweeter. Flavors like vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, and pistachio are common. Argentine flavors have ventured into fruity and even savory territories with flavors like avocado, fig with cognac, and bourbon key lime pie. And, Dulce de Leche originates in South America – FRÍO orders authentic San Ignacio dulce de leche, which is imported from Argentina. It is a bit expensive, but totally worth it for the delicious taste.
- Serving: Like Italian gelato, Argentine gelato is scooped with a spatula; however, it is served in a swirl. These swirls can get obscenely tall, as shown here.
- Karla loves being a business owner. She gains a great deal of personal satisfaction from her work, and is so happy that people are excited and supportive of their product. Her advice for any aspiring entrepreneurs would be to go for it if you have the means.
“You’re always going to regret what you don’t do, not what you do.”
- FRÍO is a family-owned business, and Karla loves that she and her family get to provide enjoyment to other families through their gelato. In fact, Karla, her husband, and their two kids often help out by washing dishes, serving customers, and performing other necessary tasks. They have been very careful not to grow too fast, and are hoping to be a premiere gelato destination in Chicago within the next five or six years.
- Many people visit FRÍO because they enjoy the clean, light, and inviting space. Not everyone wants to go to a crowded coffee shop, FRÍO caters to those that might want something a little different. They do serve Intelligentsia coffee though, and sometimes it is blended with their gelato to make something completely new. Check out their menu here (scroll down for the caffeinated options).
- And finally, if Karla could swap with any other Andersonville business, she would choose Andersonville Antiques (5245 N Clark St). She loves the offerings there, and it would be a great opportunity to meet Andersonvillagers and other interesting folks.
You can find FRÍO Gelato on the following platforms: