Vincenzo Tettamanti of Gemelli brought his passions from Italy to his gelato shop on Market Street.
Where are you originally from? I was born and raised in Ferrara, Italy.
How long ago did you move to the states? I moved here in 2009, so it’s been about six years.
That’s it? Your accent is phenomenal. My wife doesn’t let me speak Italian at home.
Is your wife also Italian? No. She’s American. We met in Milan when she was studying abroad there.
What were you doing when you first came to the US? I was working as the digital marketing manager for a publishing company in Malvern- I have background in business.
That’s what you were doing back in Italy? Yes.
So why did you decide to make a change? I’ve been cooking and baking since I was twelve. I wanted to do something authentic and Italian, and I didn’t want to do a restaurant-there are already so many Italian restaurants. I grew up loving gelato, and since it seemed like there weren’t many gelaterias here, I thought it seemed like a good idea.
Did you have much experience with gelato? Well, when I decided this was what I wanted to do, I trained professionally back home in Italy for a year, then I came back and trained here in America with Italian chefs.
Took over a year off from work to study the trade? Yes. Pretty much.
Have you found it rewarding? Yes. Very much. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it-it’s a lot more work than before, but I definitely enjoy it better.
What brought you to West Chester? My wife was studying in Philadelphia, so we lived in Philly, then moved to Media. We had some friends here in West Chester, and found that we loved it here. Being from Italy, it had the feel of the downtown, town center area where people were walking around and enjoying the town like back home. This was as Italian style as you can get around here, and I felt like it was a good match. So we opened up here and moved here about seven or eight months later.
Does your wife work with you? She takes care of all the graphics and the design and marketing collateral. She handles the creative parts of the business.
Sounds like you’re both creative people. Where do you draw inspiration for your gelato? I’m really attached to the classic Italian flavors: stracciatella, fig and ricotta, pistachio-the flavors I grew up with. But, being a baker, I like to incorporate my baking into the gelato, using my cookies or chocolate cake that we crumble into the gelato. I like to keep them connected and interesting, and I like to try new things, like our almond milk gelato that’s vegan and has been really, really successful.
Do you think that’s what sets you apart? The thing that I’m really proud of is that everything is made from scratch. I make my own peanut butter, hazelnut, chocolates. I even make my own toppings like, mascarpone sauce. Everything is done in-house, and we don’t buy anything pre-made, no powder bases or flavorings. I also try to source local ingredients as much as possible and work with organic ingredients-I make all the bases with local, organic milk and cream.
You take your gelato seriously. Being from Italy, I don’t want to put out anything that’s not up to or above Italian standards. What we serve here is as good or better than anything you find in Italy.