FRÍO Gelato was born out of love of enjoying the Argentine delight at neighborhood “gelatería” with friends and family.
Growing up in Buenos Aires, cousins and best friends Sebastián Koziura and Enrique Schcolnik have fond memories of indulging in dulce de leche gelato with their grandmother. For the young boys, it was a moment when they had “Mami” all to themselves without having to share her with their many sisters. They nostalgically recall that their matriarch would often use them as her excuse to have some gelato too! “She always got the exact same thing – a cucurucho with dulce de leche on the bottom and frutilla (strawberry) on top. If they didn’t put the gelato flavors in that order, she’d send it back.”
After moving to the U.S. and missing this home-style treat for years, they decided it was time to bring this delicacy to the Chicago area. Inspired by the traditional, family-style gelaterías of their childhood, they opened this family business based out of Evanston, IL. The FRÍO Gelato is management team is comprised of Sebastián and Enrique, and Sebastián’s wife Karla Tennies Koziura. You will also easily find any combination of the Koziura and Schcolnik children, nieces and nephews working at the stores and behind the scenes.
Starting in the late 1800’s, more people emigrated to Argentina from Italy than from any other country. They came in droves, bearing saddlebags inherited from their ancestors. Inside, and fiercely guarded: their prized gelato recipes. Together with local and high-quality dairy products native to their new country, Argentine gelato was born.
Argentine gelato is softer and creamier than American ice cream, with flavors like dulce de leche (milk caramel) and sambayón (egg custard and marsala wine), malbec wine and berries and yerba mate tea.
Today, gelato in Argentina is the ideal end to a meal shared with family or friends. Whether eaten in a paper cup, “barquillo” (housemade waffle bowl) or “cucurucho” (housemade waffle cone) FRÍO Gelato is served in a traditional Argentine swirl. Truly, it's almost divine.
Sebastián Koziura is an entrepreneur and lifelong gelato connoisseur. With study and training experience in both the States and with masters in Buenos Aires, Sebastián is steeped in the art and science of gelato production, always perfecting - and coming up with - new recipes. He promotes gelato as a natural and flavorful dessert suitable for all cultures and countries. Sebastián lives in Evanston, IL with his wife and children. They recently spent a year and a half living and traveling on a sailboat, accomplishing his goal of a trans-Atlantic crossing. He runs another successful business with deep local roots, as owner and general contractor of Koziura Homes. Evanston locals might also find Sebastián playing a mean game of squash or cycling or sailing up the Lake Michigan coast.
Enrique Schcolnik has a passion for cows and all things dairy. As a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Dairy Consultant, Enrique has worked with over 45 dairies, totaling over 40,000 milking cows. His expertise is critical to FRÍO Gelato, ensuring the freshest milk possible—a key gelato ingredient. Enrique grew up in Argentina working with dairy cattle as a laborer and milker. At 19, he moved to the U.S. to attend the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana. Enrique now lives in Stockton, CA with his wife and two children. When he is not working he is running, swimming and biking with a semi-professional cycling team.
Karla Tennies Koziura is an Ecuadorian-American originally from South Pasadena, CA. After two separate careers in broadcast journalism and international business, she became an entrepreneur. Karla has a Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. She now uses her language and business development skills to head Marketing for FRÍO Gelato and is thrilled with the challenge of taking the company from "a simple idea we joked about once," to a thriving business. Karla loves to travel and spend time with husband Sebastián and their children. You might also find Karla brokering a real estate transaction or dancing flamenco around town.