When Michael Fradelizio retired as managing partner of Silverado Brewing Company in 2012, his plan was to retire. The popular St. Helena restaurant and brewery was purchased by Jackson Family Wines Inc. Yet when Fradelizio learned that Calistoga’s only ice cream shop, Scoops & Swirls, was closing, he had a brilliant idea: why not purchase the spot and serve his favorite Three Twins ice cream — the organic treat he served at the brewery — in Calistoga?
He purchased the shop in 2016 and opened it as the Calistoga Creamery in 2017 to exclusively sell Three Twins ice cream.
“I only wanted to serve the best,” said Fradelizio, “and I wanted to bring the brand I loved to Calistoga. So, that’s what he did, gutting the original shop and renovating it and serving Three Twins ice cream.”
Until the Petaluma-based Three Twins announced that it was closing in April 2020 — not because of the pandemic, but because the business had been “unsustainable,” according to Three Twins founder Neal Gottlieb.
Disappointed but undaunted, Fradelizio made a deal with Gottlieb to purchase the remaining $30,000 worth of Three Twins ice cream, storing some in the creamery’s freezer and the rest in nearby CalMart’s freezer.
But in March 2020, with supplies running low, Fradelizio decided he need to make his own ice cream. He purchased the necessary equipment, “All made in America,” he said proudly, and turned to Gottlieb for advice and mentoring to create his own product onsite. And now, the Calistoga Creamery makes and sells its own delectable selection of all-natural, fresh ice cream using Marshall, California’s Strauss Family Creamery’s organic milk and cream.
“My ice cream is all organic with no artificial colors,” said Fradelizio. “And I’m focusing on making new flavors, many based on customer request. My local Meyer lemon has been a big hit, and I created rocky road for a private event. Sometimes it takes me three tries to make it perfect.” Other Creamery favorite flavors include pistachio and Mexican chocolate.
Fradelizio’s staff is comprised exclusively of Calistoga High School students who come in after classes to work. “I hire and train students, many for their first job,” he said. “I started working at 12 years old with a paper route, and I feel so lucky to be able to give these wonderful teens a place to start. Their youthful enthusiasm creates a friendly environment that complements our delicious ice cream and freshly made waffle cones.”
The Calistoga Creamery features 12 flavors of ice cream daily including frozen yogurt and non-dairy selections. It’s open every day from 1 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from noon to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Stop on by for a scoop of scrumptiousness just in time for spring.
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