Montclair’s Gelotti Gives Out Free Ice Cream as Dairy Air Closes Doors

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Montclair’s Dairy Air ice cream shop made headlines once again this week, closing its doors after one highly controversial year of business.

The reason for its failure? “Extremist radical liberals,” owner Anthony Tortoriello told northjersey.com.

But Montclair’s Gelotti owner Mike Guerriero doesn’t agree.

“We get his frustration… but that’s just not the whole story. When you come to a town, you work with the community and you reach out to people and if you make a mistake you apologize for it,” Guerriero said.

“Rather than going out gracefully, he decides to blame ‘radical, extremist liberals’ and say that they ruin everything in town and that it was a conspiracy against him and that he was never given a chance to succeed.”

Guerriero on the other hand, has had an all-together different experience with the Montclair community since Gelotti expanded its newest location to the area in 2016.

Coming off of the “best year yet,” Guerriero pointed to the town of Montclair as a main reason for the franchise’s success.

In turn, he decided to respond to Tortoriello’s criticism of the Montclair community by giving out free ice cream this coming Sunday, Dec. 16 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

“We decided that we’re not going to let [Dairy Air] rain on the parade, so we’re giving out free ice cream to everyone that wants to come down… to say thank you to the Montclair community,” Guerriero said.

As it turns out, the success of Gelotti is growing rapidly as Guerriero is coming off a major national victory. In October, he became the first American-born chef to win the Gelato Festival America competition, taking first in the Santa Barbara stage with his Blueberry Basil gelato.

Guerriero’s Blueberry Basil gelato. (Photos courtesy of Mike Guerriero)

Fourteen years earlier, Guerriero was cleaning the parking lot of Gelotti and scooping hundreds tartufos in the summer heat.

But as time progressed, he began to learn the tricks of the trade from Gelotti founder Sal Sigona, eventually taking over the Caldwell location in 2014. In 2016, Guerriero opened a new location in Montclair.

Breanna Brito and Mike Guerriero.

Guerriero runs the Caldwell and Montclair locations with his fiancé Breanna Brito, leading the shop to a Best of Essex “Best Ice Cream” win in 2017.

Now, he is tirelessly preparing to compete against previous Gelato Festival winners in March, with the hopes of earning the opportunity to represent USA on the world stage in Italy in 2021.

“We really want to be the ones in Italy. We want to make sure that the United States is represented by an [American-born chef],” he said.


Gelotti of Montclair is located at 571 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Sadly, there is probably a lot of truth to what owner Anthony Tortoriello said, especially if his Caldwell shop is doing well and he was named Best of Essex “Best Ice Cream” in 2017 !
    Montclair IS an extremely Radical & Liberal town for better or worse, and this was just another case of Political Correctness run amok! The Ice Cream was great, but so many locals decided to boycott it purely for Political Correctness reasons. The same people that would not patronize his store probably also think “Baby it’s Cold Outside” should also now be banned (but not offensive Rap Music)!
    Just PC Bullying at it’s finest! Sad!

  2. Gelotti was big in Caldwell before it opened up in Montclair, and the Caldwell location is still the most popular ice cream parlor in the 07006 ZIP code. What ice cream parlor in Caldwell is owned by Anthony Tortoriello?

    Dairy Air didn’t rain on Gelotti’s parade on Sunday, but the cloudy skies sure did!

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