If you’re melting from the heat, two new ice cream shops might just be the ticket to relief.
Gelazzi Gelato Italiano Caf/ is owned by two CSU alums: Jan Robert Horsfall and Tom Davis graduated from CSU in 1982 and 1981 respectively.
The original Gelazzi has been open in Larimer Square in Denver for 18 months.
The Fort Collins location will open this week.
The duo plans to open another branch in Tampa, Fl., in the fall.
The store offers 32 flavors of gelato (also known as Italian ice cream), made fresh daily from ingredients imported from Italy. Diners will also find specialty Italian coffees and gelato cocktails – spiked concoctions containing different flavors of gelato and alcohol.
“We don’t just make gelato,” Horsfall said. “We make great gelato.”
Opening up in Old Town can be hit or miss, said the executive director of the Downtown Business Association.
“People are attracted to the atmosphere and traffic downtown,” David Short said. “But it all depends on the business. If they have a quality product and a good customer base, they’ll survive.”
Short said that even though Gelazzi sits right next to Kilwin’s (a candy and ice cream shop), their concepts are different enough for them to attract different crowds and co-exist.
A co-owner of Kilwin’s said he wasn’t worried yet about competition from Gelazzi, because he didn’t know much about the new shop.
Jack Vogt has owned and operated the franchise with his wife Donna for ten years.
D & J’s Olde Tyme Ice Cream Shoppe opened on Tuesday.
The classic shop inhabits an old Victorian-style house neighboring El Burrito at 410 Linden St.
The owners of D & J’s aren’t worried about a scoop shop struggle either.
“It’s one of those things; you open up and competition is good for you,” said Jesse Godinez.
“We also own El Burrito restaurant. We opened that (the ice cream shop) because the house was vacant. We already owned it, so we didn’t have to pay high rent.”
More than one CSU alum have opened a business near their alma mater, even though Horsfall said, “You never think about putting up a business where you went to school, so it still feels weird.”
Dan Dolan, owner of Freakshow Tattoo and Body Piercing, 1232 W. Elizabeth St., decided to move from Boulder to Fort Collins for school.
“I came up here because the school seemed to have a lot less pretense,” said Dolan. “It reminded me of Boulder about 10 years ago.”
Even though he moved for the school, Dolan stayed and set up shop in Fort Collins because of the town and its people.
“It impresses me, with the clientele of the shop, the level of education,” said Dolan. “So many people have such interesting degrees.”
He said that the students the university draws, both in-state and out-of-state, as well as the people who live in Fort Collins provide for economic diversity if not ethnic.
Dolan, it seems, made a good choice.
“Business is great. The university has supported us to no end.”
Not everyone waits for graduation to open the door to the business world.
Eric Haywood, a senior chemical engineering major, opened Goode Tymes Restaurant, 1232 W. Elizabeth St., six weeks ago with his dad.
“It’s a lot of hours and hard work,” said Haywood. “Organization is the key to everything.”
He also emphasized the importance of networking.
“Whatever friends you have who have done this before are a godsend. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without their help and experience.”