Wine and gelato have the same roots: to make great wine you have to have great grapes, to have a great peach sorbet you have to have a “great” peach (and it’s the same for all the other flavors!) ~ Guido Martinetti
In a teetering pile of ice cream scoops representing New York Magazine’s rating of village gelato shops, Guido Martinetti and Federico Grom’s Grom is the top scoop.
In 2003 the duo opened a gelato shop in Turin which soon had lines out the door and around the street. After Katie Couric started indulging in the treat when covering the winter Olympics, word of the gelato spread to the U.S. Now with 34 stores in Italy and 5 international locations spread from France to the U.S. to Japan, Guido and Federico have found a way to balance indulgence with environmental responsibility.
So how did two very different childhood friends with a common respect for food get to the top of the gelato pile?
I decided to ask the source – Guido Martinetti. While I don’t normally find that resumes form the basis for an interesting profile, I am immediately interested by the fact that Guido has divided his into two delicious sections that would create envy in any writer with a stomach: wine and gelato.
While “gelato” is a word you’d expect to see on the resume of the man behind Grom, the less expected “wine” anchors Guido’s story. Son of esteemed wine producer Franco Martinetti Guido graduated in enology but wanted to make a name for himself outside his father’s cellars without abandoning tradition. The answer was an authentic gelato made as it was once upon a time. “My father passed on to me his concern for the quality of food products. He taught me a lot and I also inherited his curiosity, his desire to understand and learn about things, which is quality that is essential for both work and life.”
Guido’s product delivers the first things that come to mind with the word gelato: a rich, creamy texture and an intense, but clean taste. Curiosity is the foundation of Grom’s success.What sets their gelato apart is that it combines curiosity and flavor to produce a slow food approach. In other words Guido translates his personal fascination with taste into a philosophy where flavor is the direct result of the attention spent on quality ingredients. Dedicate more time to developing great ingredients and the great taste grows exponentially.
Decisions on ingredients are not of the type “chocolate or vanilla?” but rather Venezualean “Ocumare” chocolate or Colombian “Teyuna” chocolate? My inkling that this can be a pretty tasty advantage of a “Gelato” resume is confirmed when Guido confirms that chooses what ingredients will join Grom’s recipe books through a process of trial and error.
The seriousness of Guido’s curiosity is clear when I consider that he also seems to have a third job title “organic farmer.” The search for the right peach starts on Mura Mura, an organic farm that includes a laboratory.
So how does a curious guy with an excellent palate find the “great” peach he dreams of for his gelato? For Guido Martinetti the answer was clear: painstakingly grow six different kinds of peach trees on an organic farm and then, of course, taste each one.