Wilmette, Community

Get the Scoop: Argentine gelato shop to bring new flavor to downtown Wilmette

Gelato shop filling place left vacant by Schultz & Odhner’s Dry Cleaners in 2020

As the intense summer heat has arrived, the Village of Wilmette welcomes a hero to save the day: Frío Gelato. 

Aiming to open before the end of the summer, Frío Gelato offers artisanal Argentine gelato and sorbet with a focus on ensuring the highest quality and allergy-friendly products, according to its website. The menu highlights authentic Argentine flavors, including the best-selling dulce de leche. 

The store will be located in downtown Wilmette at 1152 Central Ave., filling what was once Schultz & Odhner’s Dry Cleaners, which closed in Dec. 2020 after 120 years in business. Since then, the village has struggled to fill the space, primarily because of the amount of work needed to renovate the storefront, according to Village Manager Michael Braiman. 

But the Frío team is ready for the challenge. They finalized the storefront sale on June 18, and by the following day, a construction team had arrived with a new awning in tow.

The downtown Wilmette location aligns the shop as an after-dinner delight for families enjoying the neighboring restaurants. 

“We are always looking to improve … the experience in downtown Wilmette,” Braiman said. “We hope that this will be a place for families to bring kids or sports teams.”

Frio Gelato began in Evanston in 2013 and Wilmette will be its third location. | Photo from Frio Gelato social media

Karla Tennies Koziura, head of marketing for the Frío team, shared that the shop will mirror a traditional Argentine gelato shop with a modern interior and flavors translated into Spanish and English. 

As for what Frío looks to bring to downtown Wilmette, “A slice of Argentina,” Tennies Koziura responded. “More flavor and add to the variety of downtown Wilmette.”

Frio was started in 2013 in Evanston by Sebastián Koziura and Enrique Schcolnik. Growing up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the cousins cherished traditional Argentine gelato. When the two moved to the United States, they knew they needed to bring a taste of home with them. 

Drawing inspiration from Argentina’s gelaterías, they opened their family-owned shop, Frío, in Evanston. The shop soon became a hotspot for Northwestern students and Evanston families.

According to Frío’s webpage, Koziura lives in Evanston with his family. The entrepreneur and “lifelong gelato connoisseur” works in their Evanston headquarters and enjoys experimenting with new flavors. He also helps with another local family business, Koziura Homes. 

Schcolnik is somewhat of a dairy expert, the website says. Growing up, he worked as a laborer and milker with dairy cattle. He then went on to work as a veterinarian and dairy consultant. He has worked with over 45 dairies. Schcolnik now lives in Stockton, California, with his family.

Koziura and Schcolnik’s team is made complete by Karla Tennies Koziura, Sebastián Koziura’s wife. 

Construction on the storefront has kicked off and will continue throughout the summer. In the meantime, the Frío team invites eager gelato fans to visit their other locations, Evanston and Navy Pier. 

Frío Gelato will not be the only cold-treat shop in downtown Wilmette. Buck Russell’s began serving scooped ice cream in 2022. Homer’s Ice Cream, a North Shore institution since 1935, is located just up Green Bay Road.

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