Gelato, Per Favore!
With 33 years of combined experience in the gelato industry, Paolo Di Lallo and Denise Pisani are elevating Toronto’s and craft all the way from Italy.
ON PASSION FOR GELATO
Paolo: I’ve always loved gelato ever since I was a kid. I make everything from scratch. All my recipes and ingredients are from Italy or sourced locally.
ON WORKING TOGETHER
Denise: We are the opposite. He takes care of the production, I take care of the image of the business and managing staff. He’s a doctor of gelato, like a chemist. We complete each other!
ON OPENING MIZZICA
Paolo: We always wanted to open our own business because we both worked in Italy in the gelato industry. We think gelato is an amazing product that brings you happiness. We met about nine years ago in Toronto, in a gelateria, talking about gelato. Eventually we became a couple. We always shared this passion and one day wanted to open our own gelateria.
Denise: We wanted to bring authenticity to Toronto. We invest in bringing all the best ingredients and products from Italy.
Paolo: We make sure to be fresh every single day. I have 18 spots for gelato. I keep about eight to 10 of the most important flavours, the most traditional ones — like lemon, chocolate, pistachio, mango, strawberry — but I change the other flavours every day.
Denise: We also create flavours that we make just by going grocery shopping. Like, “Oh, here’s some cheese and figs.” We wonder what it would be as a gelato flavour. It usually becomes a success, even a bestseller!
MEANING BEHIND MIZZICA
Denise: Mizzica is an expression that comes from the south of Italy, specifically from Sicily. It means “Wow.” And that’s the first thing that people usually say when they try our gelato.
ON WHICH GELATO FLAVOUR THEY EMBODY
Paulo: Pistachio! I’m expensive, nice, strong, and it has a creamy taste with nuts!
Denise: I would be strawberry because I love strawberries. It’s refreshing. It’s sweet. It’s colourful. It’s summery. It’s positive, happy.
FAVOURITE ITALIAN EXPRESSION
Denise: Mizzica is my favourite Italian expression. It can be something bad. It can be something good. It can be “Mizzica, I got a parking ticket!” or “Mizzica, this gelato is delicious!”
ON THE DEFINITION OF SUCCESS
Paolo: Health and being passionate about what you do is important. I think when people are happy, and they come back to you to get your product, it means that you’re doing things right. It’s also nice and also very important for us to make people happy because this is what we do, basically. It can change someone’s day. Maybe it is nothing, but it’s a short time of happiness.