Rivareno Gelato – a decade in review
Almost 8 years ago, Kieran Tosolini opened the doors at Rivareno Gelato at 280 Crown Street in Sydney after a 2 year search for the perfect site in Darlinghurst. Since the day we opened, we have strived to churn only the best gelato for our customers…one scoop at a time to bring Sydney a gelato like no other that existed here before.
When we reflect on our gelato dream over the last decade, we have unpretentiously led the way:
– Time Out named us the best gelato in Sydney:
“But the thing about Rivareno is that they don’t need your applause damn it, they’re making the best darn gelato in town right now and feel no need to shout or scream about it”.
– We introduced Sydney siders to the “pozzetti” counters: to deliver nothing short of perfect gelato produced fresh daily in our “laboratorio” in store only a few hours before serving. As Broadsheet said:
“The concept behind famed Rivareno is simple: to create the perfect gelato. And that’s why you won’t see any when you walk in. The gelato is stored in pozzetti, sealed, insulated cylinders that help to maintain freshness, temperature and consistency. Evidently, it works. Flavours are more vibrant and the texture so velvety that Rivareno’s ice-cream is immediately discernible from any other”.
This was not without its challenges as people were used to seeing only coloured mounds of gelato piled high – we were ridiculed by the competition who would comment that they wouldn’t dare take the gamble to use pozzetti in the Australian market and at first, our customers came in looking afraid. They did not know what we were selling nor where it was with some even looking for gelato on the ceiling! After taking the first taste, however, they realised they were on to something good and became instant converts. Even if at first the ‘look’ of the store was a little too budget. After all, seeing mounds of gelato and tasting with your eyes is over-rated! It was hard work explaining to every single customer why you can’t see the gelato, but why it’s so much better for it…. a real slow burn. But we got there in the end and many places have now followed our footsteps in using the pozzetti.
Starting and running a small business is no easy feat, especially with no previous experience in running a business and not many people who were happy to help or guide us. The learning curve was steep, and there is still a lot to learn. But with much perseverance, determination, grit and one hell of a lot of passion we have managed to make a name for ourselves in Sydney, and even interstate with many in other states visiting us on their trips to Sydney.
– We opened our doors at Barangaroo Avenue in Sydney’s new CBD precinct: bringing our gelato to your office or better still, bringing your office to our gelato. This enabled many in Sydney who previously had not had an opportunity to try our gelato to become faithful converted fans. It is a privilege to be in such good company with great operators in the Barangaroo precinct.
– We joined forces with the best of the best – like minded restaurants and chefs who have a strong focus on the quality of the ingredients they use and like us, an obsession with carefully selecting the highest quality ingredients for their flavour profile and authenticity: to name just a few –Da Mario, Lankan Filling Station, Billy Kwong by Kylie Kwong, Sunday Chicken, Fish Shop, Merivale, Big Sam Young, Nomad and Anason. It is no mistake that many of the best chefs in Sydney frequent our stores on a regular basis.
– We use the very highest quality ingredients and while everyone claims they do, we ACTUALLY do. As you know, we don’t believe in using hydrogenated fats, artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives. People come to Rivareno to get the most authentic gelato in Sydney and “authentic” is exactly what we mean – recipes with pedigree that have been handed down from famous Italian gelato makers over generations which we are continuously refining, using the best raw ingredients you can find.
– We import ourselves directly from family farms – the best quality hazelnuts from Piemonte, the best quality pistachios from Bronte, Sicily, the best quality almonds from Sicily. You might ask, well, why are these nuts considered the best in the world? Because of the micro climates in which they are grown – the terrain, the amount of sun and the fertile soils and that is why we use them. We also import some of the world’s finest chocolates – like the Valrhona single origin Manjari blend.
– We use citrus fruit from Sicily (lemons, mandarins, blood oranges) coming in the form of pure unadulterated fruit juice only – not pasteurised and nothing added and considered the best citrus in the world. When it comes to other fruits for our sorbets or granita, we source the highest quality fruit locally – fresh local mangoes, cherries, lychees, peaches, black figs, bananas, apricots, kiwis, pears, watermelon. We are particularly proud to use an amazing Mariposa blood plum from a small local producer when they are in season and available.
Every single ingredient is carefully selected – take for example the caramelised figs we use, which are slowly roasted with a bit of honey and lemon peel or the sheep’s milk ricotta, which we again import ourselves from a small producer near the foothills of the volcano of Vesuvius, close to Naples or the high altitude Alpine mascarpone from small producer in Northern Italy or the Marsala from the prestigious Pellegrino cellars in Sicily.
In late 2020, we opened in Sydney’s second CBD, Parramatta. Many of our customers were travelling from Sydney’s western suburbs to enjoy our gelato so we wanted to return the favour by bringing the gelato direct to them. Our shop in the Parramatta Square development is surrounded by a variety of restaurants and food outlets as well as offices, allowing our customers to bring gelato once again to their office. We’re thrilled to be in the new neighbourhood!
Grazie mille! Thank you to all our lovers and fans – our loyal customers who believed in us, our dedicated staff past and present and our friends and family who have lived and breathed our gelato dream!
Here’s to the next decade of churning the best gelato in town!