Kristina, is the gelato chef and co-owner. She spent years working behind a computer in product and strategy jobs. The time came for her to get out from behind her computer and extend her passion for cooking/baking into something she could really enjoy. She took a trip to Sardinia one summer and tasted some really good gelato and decided this is what she wanted to do. She always loved ice cream but after tasting real gelato, nothing really compares. She took a course in the States and then went on to Bologna, Italy where an Italian chef extended her knowledge and taught her the proper techniques to make real Italian gelato and sorbetto.
After a decade as a wall Street correspondant for LCI/TF1, Pierre co-owner of Dolce Brooklyn is now a classic entrepreneur and jumped at the opportunity to start this business with his wife. He brings with him that entrepreneurial spirit as well as years of experience running a company.
1- Hello Kristina & Pierre, where do you come from, and how long have you lived in New York?
I am originally from Nazareth, Pennsylvania but have lived in NYC since 1995. And Pierre is from Paris and a New Yorker since 17 years.
We moved in the neighborhood of Red Hook in June 2012. Unfortunately just a few months before Hurricane Sandy (also called « Superstorm Sandy ») left our place with four-and-a-half feet of polluted and salted water… It happened just a few days after our house-warming party/notre crémaillère… Like the other 6,000 Red Hook Houses tenants, we lived without water, heat, and electricity for more than two weeks… we then had to clean up and rebuild our family residence.
2- Why did you decide to start your own business?
We always wanted to open a community oriented business since moving to Red Hook. It is such a great community. We opened the boutique on July 4, 2016.
3- Did you always know you wanted to launch a business in the ice cream sector ?
We decided on gelato because we noticed that the neighborhood lacked ice cream.
4- What’s different now that you are a business owner?
We both have either owned a business or done consulting so we are somewhat familiar with being business owners. That being said, the hospitality business is far more demanding than anticipated. We are open in the evenings so one of us is always at the shop – less family time together.
5- How easy was to get Dolce Brooklyn off the ground?
Everything in NYC is difficult and takes longer than you think. Even the electricity took weeks to schedule.
6- What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received? what advice would you give to someone launching a business?
Know what you are getting into in terms of financial and time commitment – then double it.
7- Can you describe your typical day?
In the busier season, a typical day starts at the farmers market then to the shop to make gelato. In busier seasons gelato is produced throughout the day. Review inventory and place orders if necessary. But when service begins, it’s great to interact with the customers, learn what they like and hear their ideas for the shop.
9- What are your future goals for your Business?
We would like to expand our catering business and sales to restaurants.
Merci Kristina, merci Pierre !
You can order online
The delicious Handcrafted Gelatos (with milk delivered directly from the Hudson Valley), sorbets (using fresh fruits and other high quality ingredients), the Celebration Kit (3 pints of your choice + 5 cones and 5 mini cones), the gelato cake …
And available now, Birthday parties where kids can customize their gelato cake. Ask for a quote at: firstname.lastname@example.org