There is a delicious alternative to ice cream and it is available at JJ Fitelli’s Italian Ices and Gelati, now open at 11559 N. Kendall Dr. in the Kendall Market Place.
The shop opened just a few weeks ago with great homemade recipes for flavorful ices made by hand with fruit.
The difference between ices and ice cream is that ices are water based while ice cream is dairy based. So ices are lactose free, dairy free, salt free, cholesterol and fat free, as well as gluten free. The best news is that the ices at Fitelli’s are chock full of incredibly delicious flavor.
JJ Fitelli’s is owned by Jason Jason and Bruce Fitel, longtime friends. Fitel is a CPA and has been in the healthcare industry. Jason had the gift shop concession at Jackson Memorial Hospital before retiring.
“I had this idea of Italian ices,” Jason said. “I was brought up in the food business. I make Italian ices. If there are strawberries, you taste strawberries.”
He studied the market and saw that while new shops are opening, they were yogurt and gelato shops. No one else was taking on Italian ices. However, if someone wants ice cream, they can still go to Fitelli’s.
“We serve ice cream, soft serve, chocolate and vanilla,” Jason said. “We serve chocolate and vanilla yogurt that is no sugar added and fat free.”
But they have a full flavored taste that so many fat free and sugar free products don’t have.
Fitelli’s makes a fabulous gelati, which is a layers of ices, and soft serve ice cream. The gelati can be made with a huge variety of choices and are incredibly delicious. They also make a brownie or Blondie bomb that is to die for.
In fact, a family of four can go to the shop and all have treats for less than $20, Fitel said.
“The ices have more flavor than anything found in stores,” he said.
Customers are able to sample a variety of flavors before deciding on one. Each day, there are approximately 16 offerings, including Mango Tango, Island Coconut, Mokaccino, Havana Banana and South Beach Lemon. Flavors are rotated frequently.
The ices are made in-store based on Jason’s recipes.
“We buy the top-of-the-line products,” Jason said. “If you want it to be successful, you can’t take shortcuts.”
People who lived in the North are familiar with ices. They are happy to taste ices again and tell Jason and Fitel that the ices at Fitelli’s are even better than what they remembered.
Fitelli’s is hosting Open Mike nights on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. as a way to lure customers. They also have ideas for working with local schools.
Jason said another store being considered.
“We plan on opening another one by the end of the year,” he said. “South Miami, Pinecrest, Doral, the Beach — some place within 30 minutes. In manufacturing you have to worry about delivery.”
The products will be made at the Kendall store and delivered to the secondary location. The idea is to franchise stores in the future.
For more information, call 305-279-1801. You can find JJ Fitelli’s on Facebook and on Twitter.