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Tastemaker: Cold Call | Il Laboratorio del Gelato

Instead of scooping gelato, Jon Snyder should be counting his millions. Snyder, whose parents owned a Carvel shop, founded the Ciao Bella gelato company in 1983 when he was 19, but sold it for a mere $100,000 in 1989. (The company now does $10 million in sales annually.) Unvanquished, Snyder started the rival Il Laboratorio del Gelato in Manhattan last fall. His ultracreamy gelatos—in flavors like a lusciously fruity Concord grape with bits of grape skin—are more fine-tuned than Ciao Bella's, says Snyder: "This comes after 20 years of maturing." Try for yourself. If you can't make to the shop, Laboratorio now ships nationwide ($6 per pint; 95 Orchard St.; 212-343-9922).
--Salma Abdelnour

Published April 2003
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