Happy accidents make for delicious gelato

My family moved to Jenkintown over the summer, and we’ve been visiting local businesses as we acclimate ourselves to the neighborhood. One recent excursion found us at Carminati Creamery in Glenside, a small gelato business quaintly tucked into Keswick Village.

The Creamery, run by owners Darin and Amy Carminati, has been in business for three years and they make everything from scratch, using as many local products as possible. For instance, they get most of their milk (the primary ingredient in gelato) from Tanner Brothers Dairy in Ivyland.

Darin always enjoyed making ice cream at home with his kitchen aid, especially during his wife’s pregnancy. While bartending and serving at From the Boot in Ambler, he noticed that the gelato machine on premises wasn’t being used. With his homemade ice cream making in mind, he asked to borrow the machine and began to self-educate on how to make gelato.

Darin told us: “I was like, what’s gelato and how does it compare to ice cream? I had never looked at the ingredients and how different it is [from ice cream] as well as how similar. There is way less fat in gelato and because of that, the flavors are much more intense. And once I got into it [gelato], there was no turning back…it’s so much better than ice cream.”

After some trial and error, he began to taste success.

“My friends would come over and I would have 20 different flavors and I would pull them out and everybody was like – “This is amazing”, so I started bringing it into work”, Darin said.

Darin’s boss tried it and liked it so much, he asked Darin to make gelato for all 3 From the Boot locations. This was the catalyst for Darin to take out a loan to buy his own gelato machine and service From the Boot and other restaurants gelato from his home kitchen. Around 4 years ago, when Darin realized his business was outgrowing his house, he found his place at 448 N Easton Rd, and Carminati Creamery in Glenside was born.  

COVID-19 has been trying for all of us, but the sweetness of Carminati Creamery gelato helped many in the area through some tough times. For the first few months after the pandemic hit, Darin just did delivery.

“Since we had no idea what was going on at the time, I felt delivery was the most contact free way to reach my customers. It actually got so crazy that I had to get my friend to help me with the deliveries. I would build up as much product as I could before Saturday, then I would post [on social media] on Saturday and I would sell out in five minutes and then all I was doing for the rest of the day from 12 to 7 was delivering…once it started to get warm out, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up.”

Back at the Creamery, he decided to turn his gelato station toward the window, pushed the counter up to the door and began to serve gelato that way. Because the windows of his storefront open in the front, he was able to keep business with mitigated COVID risk.

For the holidays, Carminati Creamery is featuring eight assorted flavors: Toasted Vanilla, Chocolate Candy Cane, Anisette, Mint Chocolate Chip, Pineapple Orange Sorbet, Pear Ginger Sorbet, Hot Fudge, and Eggnog.

The Toasted Vanilla has an awesome backstory:

“I came up with Toasted Vanilla by accident. I used to make everything out of my house, and I was making a big double batch of sweet milk for my Campfire Caramel flavor and my son started screaming waking up from a nap. I went upstairs, calmed him down, was playing with him and totally forgot that I had a big pot of sweet milk cooking on the stove. I started walking down the steps and I could definitely tell that it was burnt. But as I smelled it, I realized it smelled good. It’s burnt but it smells good! I strained it, separated it, and since it was a double batch, I had to make it; I wanted to see what would happen. My cousin and his wife came over, tried it, and thought it was so good. Customers agreed. From there I made all kinds of toasted flavors…a happy accident. Toasted vanilla is always requested.”

At Carminati Creamery, you are allowed to sample everything, and Darin will take requests for flavors. The Creamery will be open this Thursday for pick-up and there will be gelato in the case to purchase. 

You can also purchase gift cards, and if you purchase a gift card over $25 dollars you get a tiny metal spoon. One of Darin’s customers sent Darin a photo of the customer’s girlfriend washing the plastic little spoons that came with the gelato for reuse and it gave Darin the idea for the promotion…another happy accident.

Carminati Creamery is located at  448 N Easton Road in Glenside. (215) 740-8165. Facebook, Instagram.