In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Inside Frost Gelato’s Creative Process

We went into the kitchen to see how they perfect their recipes.


Businesses usually live by the motto, “the customer is always right.”

At Frost Gelato, they take it a step further.

“Most of the recipes are suggestions from the customers,” boasts, Master Gelato Chef  Nazario Melchionda.

Customers not only give them suggestions, but they’ve even brought in items, such as a salted caramel chocolate bar from the Pacific Northwest. Those flavors led to their sea-salt caramel gelato, that has been a staple in the shoppes for over a decade.

Co-owners Jeff Kaiserman and Stephen Ochoa hired Nazzario in 2005 to help them open their first shoppe at the Casas Adobes Plaza.

“He was only supposed to be with us for one week, which turned into three months, which turned into over 13 years,” said Kaiserman.

Before that, Nazzario had been perfecting gelato recipes for over 30 years in Italy.

From the suggestions he gets from customers, he breaks down the flavors to hone in on the recipe. Then he needs the customers help again … this time as taste-testers. Once he gets their notes and makes tweaks, he finalizes the recipe.

Coconut is one flavor that wasn’t a suggestion from any consumer, it was all Kaiserman’s idea. In fact, that was the flavor that made him fall in love with gelato.

Their dedication to flavor and commitment to using fresh ingredients is the key to Frost’s success.

Kaiserman said they never envisioned they would have grown beyond the Southwest, let alone into the Middle East.

They have two stores in Kuwait, with plans to open in eight more countries in the next few years.

One Kuwait shoppe is located at The Avenues Mall, which is the second largest mall in the Middle East.  In the U.S. they have stores in Phoenix, San Diego, Austin, Albuquerque and Dallas. They plan on opening their first east coast store in Richmond, VA in June.

Frost has three locations in Tucson: 

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