Our story is proof that everything happens for a reason and that dreams really do come true. We wouldn’t be opening up our family-owned business if it wasn’t for our Dad, Chad. He always seeks opportunities and keeps those positive vibes. This is my Dad’s story, that started the drive to begin Gourmet Italian Delights:
Growing up I experienced my mom, Concetta, and my grandmother, Nancy always cooking amazing Italian food and baking gourmet Italian delights to spoil the whole family and neighborhood. They always came up with new recipes from rainbow cookies to ricotta cheesecake, it was always amazing and everyone else thought the same.
When I got married and had kids, I saw that my wife and daughter, Mayette and Olivia, loved to bake, and my sons, Brandon, Leo and I loved to eat. We are a family of foodies. Wherever we vacation, whether it’s a small town or big city, we love to adventure to find amazing little hole in the wall places with great local food all the way to the finest restaurants. My wife always pointed out the crowd that followed us after walking into a spot that was just empty. She would say that it was a sign of good business we would bring in if we opened up a shop of our own. Between the whole family’s creativity and ambition, I knew that we could open up something, and it would be great.
In 2019, we considered opening a gelato shop and visited the gelato festival in Boston, where we tried over 30 samples of gelato. We found out that the equipment was very expensive and we weren’t financially able to risk that sort of an investment. We let our dream sit on the wayside.
In February 2020, while I was in Florida, I was invited to a Super Bowl party where I met a guy by the name of Andrea. We spoke about gelato all night, he said he makes gelato for a living. At the end of the night, I said “I would love to see your gelato store.” Andrea said “Oh no, no, no, I don’t have a gelato store I have a gelato factory. I said, “Ok, I would love to see your gelato factory!” From my experience, I figured Andrea had a bunch of carpiaganni equipment and made gelato in the back of his store. When I arrived at Andrea’s “gelato factory” I was surprised to see an actual FDA inspected industrial factory and not a storefront. I saw things that I have never seen before. They had their own milk processing facility and a complex ice cream machine that swirled out luscious ice cream. I walked into a huge freezer stocked to the ceiling with colorful ice cream tubs. Once I tried a sample of the ice cream, I asked him where could I buy this in New York, because this was the best ice cream I have ever tasted. He told me that he doesn’t have any distribution up north yet, so a light bulb went off in my head and without hesitation, I asked “You want me to be your distributor?”, which a sane person, knowing they have no experience in this field, would never ask the owner of a huge ice cream company. Andrea said “Sure”, and our relationship started and changed my life. I had opened a door of much opportunity and was ready to introduce everyone up north to this amazing ice cream, gelato, and sorbet..
When I arrived home in Staten Island,New York, due to Corona, quarantine just started and everything began to shut down. My plan to distribute had to be put on hold. I had a dozen tubs of ice cream samples that I expected to give to possible customers. Since, I spent a lot of time with my family at home, we came up with an idea to do contactless ice cream delivery, to friends and family. Seeing that this ice cream was a big hit, we got even more creative by making logos, puppet skits, promotions, videos, even a mobile app and a website with help from a very talented young man from Bangladesh named Aneek. Our videos even became popular on Tiktok with one of our videos getting 200,000 views.
One morning, I woke up at 4:30 am and went online to look for a warehouse to store our ice cream. The first thing that popped up was in Keyport, New Jersey it was a spot that was 12ft wide by 150 ft long, with a view of the bay that was breathtaking. I knew this location would be a perfect opportunity for my distribution business and an amazing ice cream shop, it could be a dessert destination like no other– with the location, the high-quality ice cream, and all the crazy ideas my family has in store.
I knew that this was the opportunity we were looking for. Although it seemed almost impossible with the extreme cost of opening an ice cream shop, and the new obstacles any business during the pandemic would have to overcome. I showed my wife and kids the location, my wife said “Let’s do it, let’s open an ice cream shop.” and when I saw the excitement in my kid’s eyes. I knew this was the right thing to do.
We pushed and pushed, we put every last penny and all our blood, sweat, and tears to turn our ideas and dreams into Gourmet Italian Delights. Gourmet Italian Delights is truly not just ice cream, it’s an experience.
Reasons to Visit Keyport!
You'll love it here!
We hope you will stop by and enjoy some breathtaking sunsets, beautiful summer days that Keyport, NJ has to offer. It’s a great place to spend the day and night with your family or loved ones. Keyport offers some of the best restaurants around such as :
Old Glory – One of the best Brick oven pizzas and barbeque around.
McDonaugh Irish pub – All the food is amazing but the Irish cork burger is to die for…10 oz burger topped with corned beef hash and an egg. The first time I ate it I was in love I ate it for 3 days in a row.
Keyport Fishery – Simple and good (actually great). They have freshest seafood from sandwiches to platters. You know the place is good when there’s a line all-day.
Uptown Bar– The hottest spot in Keyport if you’re looking for nightlife, drinks, and hanging out with over 100 TVs and live music it is a great spot for all the best sporting events.
Burlews– A family-owned bar and grill with unreal Steaks, seafood, and live music this place is an experience in itself with Bayviews you don’t want to miss.
Italian Touch Pizza– real New York pizza and a great spot for a quality & quick bite. I’m from New York I know good pizza.
Drew’s Bistro– The chef there was on beat Bobby flay and actually beat Bobby flay with his voodoo shrimp this is a place you don’t want to miss.
Broad St Diner– Old school diner with creative breakfast and lunch.
Nemo’s sushi and asian food– they serve Keyport’s finest sushi and asian fusion and they have an outdoor patio with the best view in Keyport. Perfect for date night (they are nextdoor to us so after come see us for dessert).
The metal music stop – if you like rock and roll you’ll love this place. They have all the old school rock and roll stuff from records to patches. They don’t make ’em like this anymore, just awesome!