Written by Pauline Mikhail, Staff Writer
Gelato may be the Italian word for ice cream, but it looks and tastes nothing like it. While ice cream, frozen yogurt, and other frozen treat shops are found in California, gelato shops usually aren’t, nonetheless gelato popsicles.
Stickhouse Gelato is a new frozen treat shop that opened up in Santa Monica in 2015. The founders, the Sottile family, originally opened The Stickhouse Gelato in Torino, Italy, otherwise known as Turin in English, in 1972. The family began to make and serve the gelato out of a small storefront. As a little boy, Vincenzo Sottile never dreamed he would one day grow his family’s gelato empire and have more than 80 stores located in 16 countries.
In 2006, Sottile did not want to sacrifice the freshness and quality of gelato, so he designed and developed La Ghiacciola, “The Icicle,” which is an innovative machine that uses micro-crystallization to produce an intensely flavorful gelato using only natural ingredients.
Since opening a Stickhouse Gelato shop in America, they have offered the opportunity to franchise Stickhouse which franchise holder, Jaden Alda, has accomplished with his Stickhouse Gelato Truck.
“The idea came to a friend of mine and we thought it would be a flexible job. As an actor who is sometimes at auditions or on set filming [I needed something that can accommodate my schedule],” Alda said.
The Stickhouse Gelato Truck stands out from many food trucks because of their full display of all of their toppings and gelatos.
“One major feature that is different is that gelatos are served in a cup whereas Stickhouse gelato is served on a stick which is a new concept no one has out here,” he said. “Secondly, a customer has the option of customizing the gelato.” You choose your gelato flavor, either dip in white or dark chocolate, and add your toppings. The pistachio and vanilla flavors are customer favorites, Alda said.
Alda’s gelato truck can be found in Westwood near Chick-fil-A every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from noon to 9p.m. He is in the process of finding the perfect area near USC so that Doheny students can also try it out.