Summer job? Try summer business

Stephen Bliven, 19, of Latham, launched his own business, Gelato Fresco, at Colonie Center.

Stephen Bliven, 19, of Latham, launched his own business, Gelato Fresco, at Colonie Center. Alyssa Jung

— Crisan Bakery on Lark Street is Gelato Fresco’s supplier, dropping off fresh batches a few times a week. The Italian bakery has been making homemade gelato since 2008 and uses all natural ingredients, including dairy from Meadow Brook Farm in Clarksville.

“We use Meadow Brook products first and foremost because of the high quality and the excellent results we get,” said Ignatius Calabria, Crisan Bakery’s owner. “The cows are also grass fed and aren’t given antibiotics to stay healthy.”

Calabria said the bakery makes its own fruit and berry pastes from berries handpicked at Indian Ladder Farms and imports nuts from Italy.

“Our approach to gelato is to keep it simple,” said Calabria. “We feature the bold details of the featured flavor while maintaining the smooth, dense texture that is traditional to its Italian origin.”

Bliven said his customers seem to recognize the careful attention Calabria gives to each batch of the sweet treat.

“Several people told me it’s the best thing they’ve ever tasted,” said Bliven. “People just seem to really like it and keep coming back. I have people that have bought it every single day I’ve been here.”

He averages between 50 and 75 customers during the week and said weekends can draw double that number, or more. Betty’s Cupcakes sets up shop a few feet away from him and a Japanese eatery sells Hershey’s ice cream right next door, but Bliven said he’s been holding his own in the food court dessert battle in part by also selling cookies and brownies.

Gelato Fresco, which means “fresh gelato” in Italian, will be open until the end of August. Bliven said it would be too difficult to keep it running and manage it from afar during the school year and he’s not yet sure if he’ll even reopen next summer.

“I don’t have any definite plans to do it next summer but it’s possible depending on how it continues to go,” said Bliven.

For more information about Gelato Fresco, visit gelatofres.co or stop by the food court on the second floor of the mall.

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