Angela Coop Gillette loved Garin Bledsoe’s gelato so much that she couldn’t just stop after one bite. So she bought the whole thing — the whole thing, as in the entire business.
“I had never had gelato before and I just fell in love,” Gillett says. “It was the flavors and the texture — strawberry was like having a frozen strawberry and just eating it.”
Bledsoe had sold Dellario Gelato — named for his grandfather — out of The Steamin’ Bean Coffee Company in Blue Springs, Missouri. The shop was close to Gillett’s house and she found herself drawn in for a scoop whenever she was passing by. While the Steamin’ Bean closed in 2010, Gillett didn’t want to see the gelato disappear. Bledsoe, an investor in Gillett’s new venture, agreed to help her open a stand of her own.
“I told him that if I ever had the opportunity that I wanted to make his gelato,” Gillett says. “He said just to find a place that I could make it.”
That place turned out to be the Myriad House (4448 Bell) — a coffee and vintage furniture shop that Denise Clark opened this April — in an old Victorian not far from 39th Street. Clark helped run the Main Street Cafe in Midtown for a decade. The Myriad House serves coffee, Nutty Girl sandwiches and baked goods from the Scratch Bakery + Cafe.
“Denise asked if I would come make coffee,” Gillett says. “I told her sure, but ‘can I bring the gelato?’ And now here we are.”
Gillett, who most recently worked as a cake decorator for Price Chopper, began selling her gelato at the end of last month. The most popular early flavor has been khulfi — a take on a traditional Indian ice cream that Gillett likens to a “chai tea with pistachios in it.” The case has also been filled with peach, cherry cheesecake and pistachio.
“Gelato should be smooth and creamy. It’s got to have flavors that pop,” Gillett says. “It shouldn’t freeze your tastebuds.”
Bledsoe is spending time with her this week to work on recipes. She’s currently playing around with fresh mint she got during a recent stay at Casa Somerset and fine tuning a dark chocolate lavender. Her first creation for the shop was vanilla crunch.
“It’s like a whole ice cream cone in each bite kind of like the ice cream that’s all melty at the bottom of the cone when you’re a kid,” Gillett says. “It’s vanilla gelato with white chocolate shell, rainbow sprinkles and vanilla crunch crackers.”
While she develops new flavors, she’s also hoping to move land wholesale accounts and pack pints for customers. Gillett could even envision a small truck at festivals or wineries that would dole out gelato.
Shortly after she’s finished her morning barista shift at 11:30 a.m. on a recent Wednesday, Gillett greets a regular by name. He’s stopped in for lunch and he looks up, smiles sheepishly and says he owes her a tip from yesterday’s purchase.
“I have a good way with faces and names,” Gillett says. “I’m hope I’m here long enough to get to know everybody’s name in the neighborhood.”
The Myriad House is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Dellario Gelato is available inside during those same hours.