It’s a leap of faith to choose gelato without seeing it first. This anxiety is settled once you know that Cristino Vedovato and Fabrizio Locatelli are behind Joylati, Chapel Street’s newest gelato shop. The couple ran a gelateria for 15 years in Piedmont, northern Italy, before moving to Melbourne last year.

“You cannot see our gelati, but it’s the best way to preserve texture and flavour,” says Vedovato of the shop’s pozzetti – a refrigerated counter that contains covered wells that store the product.

Why do some stores use pozzetti? It all depends on whether there are preservatives in the gelati. “We use fresh fruit, organic milk and raw organic sugar to make our gelato,” Vedovato says. This means Joylati must go to extra lengths to preserve it.

It’s bold to move all the way to Melbourne from Italy in pursuit of running a gelato business. But with an estimated 37,000 gelaterias in Italy, the pair can handle a little competition.

There are up to 26 flavours at a time. Classic options include nocciola (hazelnut), cassata siciliana (ricotta and candied fruits) and amarena (black cherry). There is also a pumpkin flavour that Vedovato recommends combining with a chocolate-based flavour. Vegan options include sorbets of pistachio, almond or Calabrian liquorice.

The visual flavour menu is styled like messy, bright paint swatches in a homewares store.

Studio Y (the design studio behind Black Pearl, Boilermaker House) has fit out the space. There are long tables that invite customers to eat in. A wall sculpture of a chocolate waterfall is suspended in motion behind the counter. Nearby there are two taps that are used to fill cones with liquid chocolate, under a chocolate-coloured ceiling.

Joylati
325 Chapel Street, Prahran
(03) 9939 4922

Hours:
Sun to Thu 9am–11pm
Fri & Sat 9am–11.30pm