Holy crap, we’re 10!

Today is a very special day for the entirety of Dolcezza. Right now, there are new baristas training in the coffee lab portion of the factory, agonizing over foaming their milk just right under the expert (but supremely goofy) duress of Mark. We are testing out shipping with dry ice in preparation of launching our e-commerce soon which comes with its own series of a million little headaches, but a great deal of anticipation (from you too, we know, we’re getting there!). Today I became full time at Dolcezza, making this my first salaried job and honestly, the first job I have actually enjoyed. Perhaps it’s the excessive time spent online yet somehow away from a desk at least 40% of the time.

But most importantly, today Dolcezza turns 10. When I moved to Maryland in June 2004, I knew nothing of Dolcezza. And Dolcezza barely knew what the next year would look like, let alone the next 10. But Violeta, her mother Isabel and at most one helper, opened the first location in Georgetown while Robb created recipes and cranked work out at a consulting job to keep everyone afloat. Stories of Dolcezza’s first year were relayed to me today at lunch (a feast from Chupacabra). From Violeta’s stepdad Oscar recanting his hand-written accounting and invoicing, to Dimas recalling a trip to the Ritz Carlton that marked the beginning of our wholesale operation– I wasn’t there for any of this, no, but I did fully understand that the spirit of this business is still the same.

Over the last seven months, I have seen Robb, Violeta & co. truly do it all, and then some. They give painstaking attention to detail in all their locations, in the consistency of every gallon of gelato, in the insistence of fresh and quality produce, and still manage to be parents of the year simply in the way they teach their daughters. I don’t know if they realize this, but they do an incredible job of giving each visitor the condensed story of Dolcezza in each spoon of gelato, in each great cup of coffee, even in the tile patterns on the floors. I feel so supremely lucky to be part of a team that does everything with great care and great love. They’ve set the bar high. I’ve got a lot to live up to.

Here’s to ten more years and beyond, and here’s to you: our amazing visitors, friends, family, instagrammers, regulars– none of this would exist if you didn’t entertain the crazy notion of an Argentine gelateria in Washington, D.C. The photos below are some of the best of the last 10 years– enjoy!

Georgetown, Day one. July 21, 2004.

Humble beginnings.

The old farmer’s market set-up, before our beloved cart.

Snowy Georgetown, 2006

Our first visit to Perrydell Farm.

Dimas and Robb during Bethesda’s construction.

Bethesda in progress.

Robb, Violeta and a whole lot of dulce de leche.

Possibly planning gelato world domination.

Dupont, day one.

Robb and Bev try to figure out how they’re going to cook a whole hog.

The invite to Dupont's opening day. Very eloquent, aren't we?

The family on opening day.

Pema goes overboard with some Valrhona Chocolate Amargo. 2011.