I’m convinced that there are few things better than gelato. More specifically, Frost’s gelato.
The gelato shop started in Tucson after owners Stephen Ochoa and Jeff Kaiserman returned from a trip to Italy.
“They say you drink the wine in Italy, but you end up eating the gelato every day,” Ochoa says. “When we came back to Tucson, it was hard to find gelato anywhere.”
Kaiserman’s father suggested that they open up their own gelato shop, so the duo went to school to learn how to make it. In 2005, Frost was born.
In general, gelato is said to be healthier than a typical ice cream. Plus, Frost offers flavors with no sugar added, in addition to sorbets which contain no dairy.
“We have something for everyone who comes in,” Ochoa says.
Frost’s gelato is made fresh daily at each of their many locations from ingredients imported directly from Italy.
Eventually, their gelato became so popular that the business expanded into cities across the nation, including Austin, Chicago, Albuquerque, and San Diego. Frost has also expanded internationally into Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, and more.
“It’s a pretty unbelievable experience,” Kaiserman says. “A lot of people ask us if we thought we’d be where we are today, and we wish we [had] put it in writing, but our goal was only to expand on a regional level. For us to expand to where we have is unbelievable.”
“It’s an amazing experience to travel and see our product around the world,” Ochoa says.
If you’ve ever paid a visit to Frost, you know that their display case is to die for. Each of the 38 flavors are decorated extravagantly, and they make you want to get a scoop of everything. (Lucky for us, Ochoa encourages us to try as many flavors as we want.)
“Our gelato master taught us that you eat with your eyes first,” Ochoa says. “We took that to heart and we call our three cases our jewelry cases. We want people to identify the flavors before even reading the flavor tag.”
There are 38 flavors offered at a time, many of which are staples. However, 2-6 flavors are switched out monthly, and Ochoa and Kaiserman are always dabbling with new flavor options.
“We have our standard Italian flavors,” Ochoa says. “We also look at what’s hot in the food industry.”
For example, they’re currently working on a watermelon flavor and a fig flavor, and they just released an avocado flavor and a toasted coconut creme brûlée flavor. Kaiserman says they’re always experimenting and will soon unveil a new product that hasn’t been done in any ice cream shop in the country. For now, it’s kept a secret, but Kaiserman says it’s only been done in a few countries and is “completely unique and different.”
As for the current flavors of the gelato (and sorbet), there are a seemingly endless amount to try, including matcha, papaya, bubble gum, honey lavender, panna cotta, root beer, butter pecan, amaretto, and so many more. Seriously, a ton more.
“We try to keep everything true to the flavor,” Ochoa says. “When you eat the strawberry gelato, we want it to taste like you’re biting into a strawberry.”
Ochoa says his favorite is the pineapple sorbet. Kaiserman loves the coconut flavor. What’s your favorite?
7301 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85715
7131 N. Oracle Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85704
2905 E. Skyline Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85718
Dessert in the Desert is a series highlighting desserts in Tucson. The main courses at restaurants get all the rage, as they should, but what about desserts? They deserve a spotlight, too.