About Our Toronto Gelato Shop
My name is Parry, and my launching of Nani’s Gelato is the result of a decades-long journey. Nani’s produces a variety of gelato flavors and sorbettos that include both dairy and non-dairy (vegan) options. We specialize in producing Asian, Indian and Italian gelato flavors.
As a young child, I can still remember watching my father work though lines of customers in his quick service restaurants. In my late teens, my father purchased an iconic, local soft-serve ice cream shop. My love for ice cream was born from my memories of that shop: the smell of fresh vanilla and chocolate, excited smiling customers lined up for days.
In 2018, I was talking with my sister-in-law Aneesh about ideas I would be passionate about in starting a new business venture. A mother of two ice cream-obsessed kids, Aneesh herself loves ice cream and has a passion for sweets. We chatted about her struggle to find natural, homemade ice cream for the kids, and we explored several ideas in the frozen dessert category. Within a few months, Aneesh and I made the decision to launch Nani’s Gelato. Our primary goal was to infuse gelato and frozen desserts with Indian and Asian flavors that we grew up on.
The idea of Nani’s Gelato was officially born in late 2018 with the primary goal of changing the way frozen desserts are served from food trucks in Toronto. Although the process of making gelato and frozen deserts from scratch is time consuming and serving it from a food truck heightens the challenge for proper storage and delivery of a high-quality product, our goal was to serve artisan, handcrafted gelato to customers on the go. In addition, Parry began infusing the gelato with a variety of Indian spices and applying his mother’s dessert recipes into production. After a year of overwhelming community support for our gelato truck, we moved into a storefront located at 6 Charles Street East, Toronto, ON and opened May 2020.
As opposed to using powdered ice cream, pre-made gelato bases, syrups, food colorings, artificial flavors or pre-made products, Nani’s invested in its own commercial commissary kitchen to make all gelato products from scratch on a daily basis, using fresh ingredients. A unique feature of Nani’s is that we produce our own gelato base using a pasteurization machine from Italy specifically designed for gelato production. The process deepens the flavors and allows our customers to literally taste the difference in our production. Nani’s focus is on delivering handcrafted, premium gelato in a small-batch, fresh format.
Gelato Toronto – Why the name Nani’s? Why Gelato?
Where does the name Nani’s Gelato come from?
In the language of Punjabi, the word ‘Nani’ means grandmother. Our grandmothers played an influential role in our upbringing. We believe that many people would agree that their grandmothers are chefs, not just cooks. We remember our grandmothers shopping at three to four different grocery stores and markets to make sure they had the freshest ingredients for cooking. They would spend hours preparing, washing everything by hand and chopping each ingredient with precision—a clear passion and love for food and cooking the right way.
We apply the same passion and love to our gelato that our grandmothers did. We shop for premium ingredients, never compromise on quality and focus on making handcrafted artisanal gelato. We take a lot of pride in watching our customers smile as they experience the taste of our final products.
Prior to opening Nani’s Gelato, the head gelato producer, Parry, visited a number of training facilities in the United States. Parry visited and completed the Ice Cream Short Course at the University of Wisconsin and learned to handcraft gelato in Philadelphia with an artisanal gelato maker from Italy. Parry learned that when compared to traditional hard ice cream or soft-serve ice cream, gelato is a premium product. Gelato contains less fat and much less air, making the product denser and more flavorful. At Nani’s, we don’t use any artificial colorings or powders, and all our gelato is made fresh daily in small batches. In addition, gelato gives a lot of flexibility in making vegan-friendly and dairy-free flavors as well as using a variety of ingredients to test new recipes and flavors.
Gelato Flavors – Our Gelato Menu
Nani’s produces hundreds of gelato flavors and sorbettos that include dairy and non-dairy (vegan) options. Our specialty is in the production of authentic Indian, Asian and Italian gelato flavors. Nani’s always produces our flavor profiles using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. In regards to our vegan and non-dairy flavor profiles, we utilize water, rice milk, oat milk, cashew milk, almond milk and coconut milk as our bases to produce a variety of vegan flavor profiles.
Please note that we only serve 8-10 gelato flavors in our shop each week: 8 gelato flavors and 2 soft serve gelato flavors. We change our flavors every Monday and encourage customers to check our Instagram account or Facebook account (@nanisgelato) for a list of the flavors that are currently available as we post our flavor list on our social media channels every Monday. In addition to our scooping flavors, we always stock between 15 and 25 flavors in pint format. The flavors are a combination of the flavors we have in scoop that particular week and our all-time best sellers.
We rotate over 100 flavors each season in our shop and we always have a combination of the following flavors:
- Indian inspired (1-2 flavors)
- Asian inspired (1-2 flavors)
- Italian inspired (2-3 flavors)
- Fusion flavors (1-2 flavors)
- Gelato soft serve (2 flavors – not available every other Monday for cleaning)