Dolce Amelia gelato shop owner David Westover is opening a second location at the Alpine Village apartments on Freedom and Bulldog in Provo. This new shop will serve not only authentic Italian gelato, but soups and paninis as well.
“The soups and paninis will be more along the lines of an Italian bistro,” Westover said. “We will serve smaller, healthier portions that are packed with flavor.”
The flavors and quality of the gelato are of extreme importance to Westover.
“Every last one of my flavors come from Italy. The only local things I use are fresh fruits and whole milk,” he said. “Everything is made from a cold process, versus a hot process. We start off with cold milk, maybe a little bit of cream if it’s something that I have to add. So far, I haven’t had to use any cream in my flavors, only a dry fat-free milk.”
Keeping the gelato on the healthy side is also something that is important for the business. Westover has made sure he has stuck with the true Italian way of creating this creamy treat, including keeping the heavy cream and loads of sugar out of it.
“We never use heavy cream in our product. For sweeteners, we only use agave, honey and very little granulated sugar,” he said. “In fact, we go through less than 50 pounds of granulated sugar every month, which is pretty amazing for a gelato shop.”
Creating the gelato is no easy task, due to the needed precision and understanding of the product. Westover carefully completes the process while also creating new and unique flavors such as toasted almond, salted caramel, blood orange and lime.
“We mix and blend the ingredients together in certain proportions,” Westover said. “You have to even be careful in how you mix it. Reaching that perfect creaminess is a technical, ordered process. From a taste standpoint, my favorite flavors are mint, toasted almond and pistachio. The mint is the hardest flavor to achieve, because you have to make sure it doesn’t taste like toothpaste. I’ve gotten the process down to where our mint flavor is fresh, crisp and clean.”
“This is some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had,” BYU alumna Aarean Jergensen said. “All of the flavors are so refreshing. It’s probably a bad thing that I’ve tasted it, because I’ll just keep coming back for more.”
A California native, Westover was the CEO of a German cabinet-making company, which led him to travel through Europe countless times. Most of his time was spent traveling away from his wife and children. This lifestyle didn’t appeal to Westover, and he made the decision to quit his job and take on something new.
“I got to flying about 255,000 to 260,000 miles in a year, and that’s when I told myself I was done,” he said.
Westover had become friends with a family in Italy that worked to create gelato flavors for Italian gelato shops. He decided his next career move would be to open up a gelato shop in Orem that created Italian gelato.
“My friends over in Italy who create the flavors also have some business in America, but they say that no one does it well,” Westover said. “So we came to an agreement that if I worked with creating true Italian gelato, they’d be willing to work with me.”
The final decision was made to open the Dolce Amelia gelato shop, named after his youngest daughter.
The Westover family put in their time and effort into creating a business that would allow them to still experience quality family time. They even eat dinner and play family games on slower nights.
“With my wife and I being an older couple, we had three young kids in our 40s. It’s almost like we are raising our grandkids,” Westover said. “I completely missed my older kids growing up because I was always gone working. This way with the shop, we could go ahead and be with our kids every day. My wife and kids are everything. The whole reason we do this is to become a closer family.”
This expanding family business has been a new experience for each member of the Westover family.
“I like working at the shop and serving all the customers that come in,” said Westover’s 13-year-old daughter Tasia. “My dad is very determined and driven in his work. The fact that he is able to accomplish all of this is really cool.”
Westover’s wife, Wendy, enjoys the business too. “David’s work ethic is awesome. Opening and running the shop has been hard but also great for the family. When David told me about his plans to open the shop, I was very surprised. But now that it’s done, I’m very happy about it.”
Westover carefully thought about the environment he wanted to create in his shop. He wanted to steer clear of the loud, overly colorful atmosphere that most ice cream and frozen yogurt shops have today.
“We want our customers to know Dolce Amelia as a family-friendly environment and atmosphere that serves a product that has flavors that are out-of-this-world,” Westover said. “When you come in here, you can forget about all the crap outside, and maybe some of my flavors will spark memories. We want our flavors to invoke forgetting about a rough day and think of something better.”