According to YoLo owner Taylor Berger, it was during his honeymoon in Hawaii in January with his new bride Alison that his eyes were opened to the possibilities.
"I had gelato when I had been in Italy twice before, but I kind of forgot about it," Berger admits. "When I tasted it again [in Hawaii], I realized how really well it fits with everything YoLo is already doing."
After the Hawaii epiphany, Berger attended a week-long school on gelato-making at PreGel in North Carolina. Two of his employees — Will Johnson and Frank Adcock — are currently taking classes on gelato at Carpigiani-USA.
"It's pretty different," Berger says of the gelato when compared to YoLo's yogurt.
YoLo built its brand on the self-serve concept and the free-for-all nature of its toppings offerings. In contrast, the gelato — starting at $2.75 for a small — will be sold by-the-scoop, and Berger notes that the gelato "really doesn't need toppings."
Gelato's simple mix of milk, cream, and sugar makes it a good medium for adding in local ingredients — fruits from Jones' Orchard, chocolates from Dinstuhl's, etc.
While the plan is to have gelato in all three YoLos, the Midtown shop will initially offer 12 flavors. Two will be fruit sorbettos. The other 10 will include the usual flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and pistachio, and from there, Berger says, "It's rock-and-roll."
This is the point where Project Green Fork, which helps restaurants be more environmentally friendly, gets in on the action. YoLo has teamed up with Project Green Fork founder Margot McNeeley for a contest.
Details from McNeeley:
Create your own gelato flavor for Midtown YoLo. Preferably green in color to represent Project Green Fork.
Submit your flavor idea via email to: email@example.com: Include your name, phone number, and flavor idea. You don't have to create an actual recipe, just the flavors you want in it. Example might be chocolate, raspberry, lemon. Be creative!
You can submit your flavor idea as a group, school, business, individual.
We will select the top 5 and have a tasting contest at YoLo Midtown April 1, 2011.
This event will be open to the public to taste and vote for their favorite flavor.
The Top 5 will win cool YoLo and PGF prizes and the winner will have their name on the winning flavor as "Project Green Fork Gelato created by ______.
The tasting will be $10 per person which will include a sample of each top 5 flavors and one voting card.
All proceeds benefit Project Green Fork.