Looking to treat your sweet tooth? Welp, be excited because we’re about to tell you about a bomb new gelato place in Washington, DC. Operating out of Studio52, Niko’s Gelato is a black-owned dessert joint specializing in boozy treats.
Before we get into our favorite flavors, we have the amazing owner with us today. She kindly agreed to answer a few of our questions, and we can’t wait for y’all to learn more about her business. So without further ado, let’s get to it!
Tell us about yourself!
Hi! My name is Chelsea and I am a seasoned entrepreneur. I’ve built and scaled a multitude of businesses over the past 10 years. I currently co-own Studio52, an event venue in NE, with my husband. I also recently launched Niko’s Gelato.
Have you always had a sweet tooth?
Yes! I’ve never met a chocolate chip cookie that I could turn down. Especially not a gluten-free one!
What inspired you to start creating boozy gelato and sorbet?
At the beginning of February, I started working on adding a gelato bar in Studio52 for my event clients. Everything was non-alcoholic at the time. Fast forward to March 14th, we got shut down and still remain shut down by DC (not allowed to have events until Phase 3).
I’m not a restaurant so I didn’t have food to sell and we could no longer host events but I did have the gelato. I took the liquor that I had purchased for our now cancelled events, brought it to my gelato chef, and told him to add it in. I launched immediately and we found that it sold out as quickly as we made it.
When was Niko’s established and how did you come up with the name?
I launched at the end of March 2020. When we got shut down, I had massive panic attacks over how I could provide for my son. My main source of income pretty much vanished overnight. I named the gelato after my son, Niko, because I knew that I had to make it work for him. I wanted a constant reminder of that. Failure is not an option.
How often do you release new flavors? Do you spend a lot of time with R&D?
I try to do a small batch of a new flavor every 1-2 weeks. This helps me flush out my ideas and get real time feedback from customers. It also keeps our customers excited because I only make a limited quantity. Now the core & seasonal flavors take a month to develop. I like to spend a lot of time testing and perfecting the recipe with my chef before I officially release it.
What’s your favorite flavor from your menu?
This is SO hard! I truly love every flavor. Right now, I find myself craving the Tequila Mint Chip a little more than the others.
How far in advance do people need to place orders?
I recommend pre-ordering 1-2 days before we open. A lot of people buy in quantities of 4 or 6 so the gelato sells quickly after we restock it. We’re on Uber Eats and GrubHub for DC residents. You can also order online through nikosgelato.com for in store / curbside pick up. We’re located in Studio52!
A huge thanks to Chelsea for taking the time to answer our questions. For our order, we got the following 5 flavors: peanut butter cup whiskey gelato, tequila mint chip gelato, prosecco punch sorbet, bacio (chocolate hazelnut) gelato and stracciatella gelato.
They have a slew of other flavors available as well, but we highly recommend getting both their tequila mint chip and bacio because those were our personal favorites. All their ice cream is handcrafted locally and made in small batches to ensure quality, and although they’re known for their alcohol-infused gelato and sorbet, they also sell a handful of “regular” flavors.
Want to try their noms but don’t live in the district? They gotchu. Head to their “shipping” tab, and get a 4 pack delivered straight to your home – just make sure you read their guidelines beforehand to make sure your package gets to you in perfect condition. PS. use code LOCAL15 for an extra 15% off if you live in the DC metro area!
For more on DC eats, browse this tab, and make sure to check back tomorrow for fresh, new content coming your way!