This was the EisCafe in Stuttgart where my roommates and I would walk down to a couple of times a week. It was dangerous because it was just above where the S-Bahn let out and below our flat. It’s called Vizzani. This cute spot was just one of many places to get gelato in Stuttgart.
Grand Opening – Saturday, March 24!
It’s the last big push before our Grand Opening this weekend and we are all (including my parents) working like crazy to get ready. Backsplash, lighting, cleaning, final health inspection, furniture, and a last little bit of decor are all that’s needed to get the place ready. Then we have just a bit more testing and training to get done before Saturday. I really can’t believe we’re opening this weekend!
Levi has been such a trooper. He started preschool and although he’s always upset when we leave him in the mornings, every time I pick him up, he’s having so much fun and it take him a while to realize I’m even there. Then he lights up and runs to me. Wow, that’s a good feeling. They must do a lot of dancing at preschool because Levi’s now a dancing ‘fool’ anytime there’s music on. So cute!
My parents are also taking really good care of us. They cook dinner for us often, fold my laundry and take care of Levi any chance they can get. Dad made the cutest kids area where Levi and other little ones can play while at the gelateria. It’s the best because they always bring him by the shop for a little visit so I get to play with him for little breaks during the day.
I feel really lucky to have such great friends and contractors to work with. They really took care of me. I would recommend these guys all day long! They do great work and are amazingly honest and empathetic. I truly feel like I worked with the best guys available.
Woodwork/Drywall/Project Management/Our HERO! – Sam Pulvers (of Distinction Gallery) and his assistant Ira
Architect – Greg Danskin
Concrete Floors – Mark Chavis
Tile Work – Greg Painter
Signage – Scott, owner of Sign Concepts
Plumber – Larry, owner of Pomerado Plumbing
Electrical – Sam Anguiano
Design – Thank you Heather from Design Moe for all my annoying questions!
Paula and Dave are down this weekend to help us work on getting the shop open and she brought me this present. If any of you know Paula, (Jake’s mom) you know this sort of punny sense of humor is quite commonplace. I’ve been told it comes from the “Garske” side of the family. She and my mom both love words …crossword puzzles, scrabble, and “fun with etymology”. If you want to really get them going just use “irregardless” in a sentence and see what happens.
So we did it. We fired up our new batch freezer and made our first batch of gelato. I started with a simple Fior di Latte, basically a sweet cream. I’ve made lots of gelato at home in a small countertop freezer, but only a handful of times on a commercial piece of equipment. The texture was amazing, I must say. In addition to using quality ingredients it’s got to be a result of the quality of the equipment.
When I was first shopping for a batch freezer, I kind of had an idea of the type of machine I was looking for but wanted to get referrals from folks in the biz. I came across Gelateria Del Leone in St Louis, Missouri that used this type of machine and called them up to see if they liked working with it. After leaving a message one of the owners, Chris, gave me a call back and said he loved the machine and that if I ever wanted to see it in action to come by sometime. Amazed with his generosity I said…”how about next week?” Chris not only offered to let me shadow him at the gelateria for a couple of days but invited Jake, Levi (my then 12 month old) and me to stay with him, his wife and their two year old daughter. Since that trip Chris has been so helpful and supportive as Jake and I have been putting the shop together. I was overwhelmed with the kindness of this family and I’m so thankful for their help.
Here is Levi sampling the Fior di Latte. I think he approves. I should probably expand my test market though, I think he’s biased.
I suppose this is the calm before the storm, but everybody keep asking me “How are you doing?”. I guess I’m supposed to be really freaking out right now, but strangely I feel a great sense of calm. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of drama daily with problems in our design, forgetting I needed room for a another 2 door freezer, and oh yeah… my 15 month old is in the throws of some serious teething. But honestly Jake and I are having so much fun spending our time down at the shop getting things together. Levi thinks it’s a great playground and has been sweeping, dropping things through holes down to the basement and re-organizing the the electrician’s electrical boxes.
At this point the electrical is about half done and plumbing starts tomorrow morning. I’m hoping to get my first set of inspections done by the end of this week. Then it’s time for drywall and I’m so excited!
Ollie and the Otterettes – Oak Hill 1987
Am feeling a whole lotta love from my fellow Escondians. Here’s a fun video from way back when…
It’s official, Jake and I signed the lease today. Construction starts tomorrow. I still can’t believe this dream is actually coming true.
It’s certainly going to be a challenge to start a new business while raising our 15 month old son Levi. I’m determined to try and keep a “normal” schedule for him and spend mornings with him and put him to bed at night. I’m sure our “plan” will change over and over as we learn what life is like as small business owners and new parents.
I hope to share stories from our journey here, on this blog, as a resource for others looking to start a family business of their own.
Time to get to work!
We’re getting really close to signing the lease for EscoGelato. I’m excited and am feeling really inspired. I’m sure there are going to be many challenges ahead, but this has been a dream for a really long time and I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to make a go of it. Our plans are currently under review with the health department and we are working though their requirements. It’s really not as scary as I thought it would be. IN the meantime there’s still lots to do including setting up the website (as you can see that’s what I’m doing now). I’ve built the site using WordPress. (Thanks for the recommendation Dave!) I really like the way it works.