Evanston gelato store expands to Chicago


Jeffrey Wang/Daily Senior Staffer

Frío Gelato, 517 Dempster St. The Argentine dessert shop has been in Evanston for two years and will open a location in Chicago on Friday.

Julia Esparza, Reporter

Evanston’s only Argentine gelato shop will be expanding into a Lakeview location in Chicago on Friday.

Frío Gelato, whose Evanston location is on 517 Dempster St., serves a variety of Argentine desserts. The Evanston location closes every winter but still sells its products in select locations. However, the Chicago store will remain open throughout the year.

Co-owner Karla Koziura said Lakeview’s demographics and general support of small business made it an ideal spot for the new location, 3721 N. Southport Ave. She said the new location neighbors two other Argentine food establishments, 5411 Empanadas and Tango Sur.

“If anyone wants the Argentine culinary experience they can go to that one street,” Koziura said.

Koziura said the family-owned establishment, which has served Evanston for the past two years, focuses on the quality of its product and an authentic atmosphere. The shop prides itself on “the three A’s” — Argentine, artisanal and allergen-friendly, she said.

Koziura, who co-owns the business with her husband Sebastián Koziura and his cousin, Enrique Schcolnik, said the business was inspired by Sebastián Koziura and Schcolnik’s childhood experiences with gelato in Argentina. Koziura, who also heads marketing for the business, said a two-and-a-half year trip across the Atlantic gave them the courage to put their dreams into action.

“If we can cross the Atlantic on a sailboat with our family, we can open an Argentine gelato store in Evanston,” Karla Koziura said.

Operations manager Emily Schcolnik said Frío’s products are made fresh every day in a small kitchen on Simpson Street, the original location of the shop before it moved to the current Evanston location in April 2015. She said the Evanston community’s support and Northwestern’s international students, who have commonly patroned the shop, have contributed to the success of the business.

Even though Italian gelato is very similar to its South American counterpart, Schcolnik said the flavors of the gelato and the ambience of the shop are uniquely Argentine.

The store promotes traditional Argentine flavors as well as some of its own original creations, like Ahogado, gelato drowned in espresso, and Tramontana, a vanilla gelato with streaks of milk caramel and chocolate chips.

“We take traditional products like the alfajor, which is a traditional Argentine cookie, and put our own little twist on it,” Schcolnik said.

Inspired by the alfajor, they created “alfa-latos” — gelato sandwiched between two cookies.

This season, Frío Gelato added new items to its menu, including the cucurucho, a homemade waffle cone and crepes. Koziura said desserts in Argentina are influenced by both French and Italian flavors.

McCormick sophomore Sarah Wong, who visited the shop with her friend, said she was struck by the shop’s decor. Wong said she could “taste how rich it is.”

“If you want the good stuff,” she said, “go to Frío Gelato.”

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Twitter: @juliaesparza10