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Meet Karla Tennies and Sebastián Koziura of FRÍO Gelato in Lakeview and Evanston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karla Tennies Koziura and Sebastián Koziura.

The concept behind FRÍO Gelato was born out of a mutual love for this Argentine delight and the nostalgic feelings of visiting Argentine neighborhood “heladerías”. Growing up in Argentina, cousins Sebastián and Enrique Schcolnik have fond memories of indulging in Dulce de Leche gelato with their grandmother. After moving to the U.S. and missing this home-style treat for years, they decided it was time to bring this delicacy to Chicago. Inspired by the traditional, family-style heladérias of their childhood, they opened shop in Evanston and Lakeview, bringing this frozen delight to the neighborhoods of Chicago.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Initially, FRÍO Gelato started out as a wholesale company, selling and distributing Argetine Gelato to restaurants, boutiques and markets across the Chicago area. However, we realized that we weren’t sticking to their original goal of emulating the neighborhood heladerías of Argentina. Thus, the business plan quickly switched over to opening storefronts. There definitely could have been a smoother start, but two locations later, FRÍO Gelato is truly bringing an authentic experience to Chicago’s neighborhoods.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the FRÍO Gelato story. Tell us more about the business.
FRÍO Gelato focuses on “the three A’s: Argentine, artisanal, and allergen-free.” Everything from the Gelato flavors and the iconic “cucuruchos,” to the specialty items and hot beverages are specific to Argentina. Every detail adds to the authenticity of our brand, making it “Artfully Argentine.” Our gelato and sorbet are 100 percent natural and made entirely artisanal, with the base made and pasteurized from scratch in Evanston. Finally, to ensure everyone can enjoy our gelato, our raw materials and flavors are allergen-free (nut-free and gluten-free). We also have egg-free and dairy-free offerings.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
There is nothing quite like FRÍO Gelato in Chicago and our “Artfully Argentine” philosophy makes us truly stand out. Not only have we grown up around the heladerías of Argentina, but our business model truly ensures that our customers are receiving an authentic, traditional experience without having to leave their neighborhood! Overall, the FRÍO Gelato experience is successful because it gives Chicagoans a true taste of Argentina.

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FRÍO Gelato

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