Carlo dePrato grew up in the ice cream business and is the third — no, make that the fourth — generation of dePratos making gelato based on family recipes. Now, 50, Carlo can remember back to at least age 5 when he would help his father, Francesco, sell gelato at their store in Southern Germany where the dePratos had emigrated from Italy.
“Our gelato is made fresh daily in small batches with farm-fresh milk and quality ingredients – rBST free and non-GMO Project Verified,” dePrato says proudly, adding, “We buy as much local Vermont products as possible, like our milk base from Kingdom Creamery in Hardwick and Goodrich Maple Syrup in Marshfield. Vermont distributor Wilcox Ice Cream does a great job of getting our product out.”
Working strictly wholesale out of a large space at the Wall Street Complex on the south side of Barre, Carlo and his son, Leonardo, or Leo as his friends call him, a senior at Union 32 High School, who also has dreams of studying Criminal Justice next fall while also working with the Barre Town Fire Department (and even some time at Domino’s Pizza), work as a great gelato and sorbet team.
“We make our products from our own family recipes in small batches, hand-packed and labeled for better control,” note the dePratos, who can point to great success not only in Vermont but now nationwide by placing High Mention in the 2016 World Tour Championship held last summer in Chicago. “This really put us on the map.”
Carlo dePrato worked 10 years with his father from 1982 to 1992 and then ran his own successful ice cream business in Germany for five years. While in Europe, he earned a diploma in Bakery. Then in 1998, Carlo married and moved to Orange, Vermont, and in 2000 he operated a coffee shop and ice cream parlor in Stowe and started producing Leonardo’s Italian Gelato & Sorbet. In 2001, the wholesale business moved to Barre and has grown ever since. Go online to see all the outlets now offering Leonardo’s Gelato & Sorbet.
Currently, the Morse Block Deli in downtown Barre has special pricing and Parker’s Quick Stop in Montpelier are offering a “Buy 1, Get 1” special. Dudley’s in East Montpelier and East Calais General Store are offering “Buy 1, Get the 2nd at 1/2 price”.
“I really like to help other businesses,” states dePrato, and he has been a big hit at the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce mixers recently, as well as other special projects.
Made with only the freshest all-natural ingredients, Leonardo’s offers these fantastic flavors (and more) for gelato: Real Vermont Maple, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chunk, Sam’s Creamy Chocolate Chip (Stracciatella), Capuccino, Coconut Chocolate, Coconut, Vanilla Bean, and Creme Brulet. And for sorbet: Lemon, Mango, Raspberry Chocolate Chip, Raspberry, Blueberry (on request), and Strawberry (on request). “New flavors pop up all the time,” explain the dePratos.
Besides a very rich and refreshing taste, gelato has less air in the product than regular ice cream. “So you get more of the good stuff and less fat.”
The dePratos believe their gelato and sorbet should be enjoyed the way they do it in Germany. The gelato and sorbet should be allowed to soften to achieve the perfect texture.
For more information call 802-279-2893 or check out Facebook (Five Stars!!) or their website at www.LeonardosGelateria.com. – GH