When Guido Tremolini and Simona Faroni left Italy for Florida’s Emerald Coast in 1996, they dreamed of bringing classic, Italian-style gelato to the United States. Looking back, it’s clear the odds were stacked against them. It’s not just that they spoke virtually no English, or that their authentic Italian processing equipment didn’t meet the Florida Department of Agriculture’s safety standards (a situation long since rectified).
More daunting was the near-existential question of whether a nation already awash in old-fashioned ice cream had any room left for its foreign cousin. But as Faroni is fond of noting, it’s not as if America didn’t have plenty of coffee to go around before espresso showed up, and that didn’t hamper the blockbuster beverage’s rise. More than two decades on, the husband-and-wife owners of G.S. Gelato & Desserts, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., are still at it. (Read more about them in the May 2013 Dairy Foods.)