D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats opens storefront on East Passyunk

Hadas Kuznits
August 09, 2019 - 6:15 am
D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats

Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A new sorbet, gelato and ice cream shop on East Passyunk Avenue is picking up right where Philly Flavors and Capogiro left off.  

Christopher D’Emilio, owner of D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats, is taking a risk, but he knows a thing or two about taking chances. 

"Before this, I used to be a casino dealer at the Sugarhouse Casino," he said, but his passion was always making sorbets.

He used to make them in his free time by renting commissary spaces and selling at farmers markets via a traveling cart. Recently, his friend Mike Strauss, of Mike's BBQ at 11th and Morris streets, convinced him to open a store.

"My goals were just to do the farmers markets. That was going to be my big summer. And now, we're opening a shop on Passyunk Avenue," he said. "That's a little surreal."

D’Emilio learned to make sorbet from his grandmother when he was 7.

"Grandma had us stay busy in the kitchen whenever we were getting Sunday dinner prepared," he remembered. "We would bug her a lot, so she would set us to task — cutting strawberries, squeezing lemons, zesting them."

In the new store at 1928 E. Passyunk Ave., D’Emilio will feature several homemade flavors of sorbet and gelato. And since he took over the space that formerly housed Philly Flavors, D’Emilio inherited their soft serve machine.

"We were given the option to have the soft serve machine, and the little kid in me screamed out, 'Keep it!' " he said.

D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats
Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio

But Old World Ice Treats serves more than just sweets. The menu offers gourmet sandwiches, provided by Mike's BBQ.

"We're just going to take a chance, and worst-case scenario, I'm right back where I was with two carts, completely happy — before Mike Strauss decided to ruin my entire life with this shop," he joked.

For more on the sorbet- and gelato-making process, subscribe to the What's Cooking podcast on the RADIO.COM app.