Findlay Market is continuing its hot streak with another new tenant that is scheduled to open during the first week in August. Dojo Gelato will open within the Market House and will feature handcrafted Italian-style ice creams and sorbettos.
Dojo owner, Michael Christner says that they adhere to a few basic principles in order to create the finest product. They make their gelato and sorbetto fresh and in small runs with no artificial anything; they use only milk, pure cane sugar, and cream for their gelato; their sorbettos only contain fruit, pure cane sugar, and water; and they refuse to use artificial preservatives, unnatural stabilizers, powders or gels. Christner also states that they only use hormone free dairy products and use choice ingredients from local farmers and purveyors when possible.
Dojo Gelato will also offer milkshakes, floats, affogato (gelato with espresso), smoothies, coffee and Italian sodas. Once open the store will employ 2 part-time with plans to utilize the empowerment program for future employment needs.
The process to get the space ready for Dojo took several months from space selection to build out. The Market House space was actually one of two potential locations that Christner was eyeing. Beig a Northside resident he naturally looked at Hamilton Avenue and had trouble finding any suitable locations, his next logical spot was Findlay Market
where he and his wife regularly shop.
Christner is exited though to be a part of the Over-the-Rhine community and fill a desired niche within Findlay Market. “Cincinnati is very welcoming to first time business owners,” says Christner who came from the much more competitive Austin, Texas market.
Christner went on to explain how gelato prep kitchens are often referred to as “laboratories” and that the Dojo name is reflective of the Asian culture meaning of place where you go to hone your craft. Dojo’s laboratory will feature a “super-fresh product” that only has a four to five day shelf life and will utilize fresh produce from Findlay Market vendors. As a result the dozen or so flavors will rotate on a monthly basis depending on what is in season with the exception of a few standard favorites like vanilla, chocolate chip and chocolate neutella.
“Cincinnati has had a definitive love for ice cream since way back when,” says Christner who hopes to recreate that ice cream social atmosphere. “In America there is a tendency to make a generic style of ice cream out of a bag. I’m real excited about using local merchants, fresh produce and creating a product made from scratch.”
Prices will range from $3.50 to $4.50 and the shop will be open during regular Findlay Market business hours (T-F, 9-6; Sat, 8-6; Sun 10-4). Dojo plans to launch a website within the next week that is designed by Vine Street Interactive; for more information in the mean time check out Dojo’s Facebook Page
, or follow Dojo on Twitter
Writer: Randy A. SimesPhotography by Scott Beseler