(Photo above courtesy of Bontá)
Bontá – Natural Artisan Gelato continues to grow but has chosen to stay a small, handcrafted local company, despite several offers from regional grocery chains to expand to national distribution.
Founders Jeff & Juli Labhart feel that the reason their product stands apart from others on the shelves is the small batch processing, as opposed to large continuous freezer batch processing of gelato. There has also been interest to possibly open scoop shop stores in Portland and Boise in the future.
Inspired and enlivened by a one year trip around the world, Jeff and Juli Labhart returned wanting to capture the flavors from the street stalls of Thailand, the spice fields of Zanzibar, the mountains of India and other exotic locales into the creamy fresh goodness of gelato.
Every small batch of Bontà gelato is hand-crafted using only the best ingredients with many coming from the Oregon countryside. Their travels that made them realize that many of the world’s best ice cream ingredients can be found right here at home.
Jeff grew up in the dairy community of Tillamook, Oregon and at a young age understood that the reason the milk and cream tasted so good here in the Northwest was all of the tall, green grass the cows munched on all year long. Juli was raised in the berry community of Lynden, Washington, where in her younger years she worked the berry fields. She still wonders why she was never fired, because it seemed more berries went into her mouth than the bucket.
Upon their return from their travels, they trained under two different Italian gelato masters. From their studies they developed their own homemade ice cream recipes and the result is a denser, flavorful ice cream with less fat than traditional American ice cream.
It was from this inspiration and the want to support local growers, the community and the environment that Bontà was born
Central Oregon Pint Club
Just in time for the holidays, Bend’s Bonta` – Natural Artisan Gelato will be launching a Central Oregon Pint club where you can sign up or give the gift of an annual membership that includes three monthly specialty artisan gelato pints, a hand-made letterpress card, a hand thrown pottery bowl for which to eat your pints from and a shiny, stainless steel serving spade. The cost for the annual membership is $250/year.
⦁ If one year is too much, they are offering three month memberships and monthly memberships, which include three limited edition, seasonal or signature pints that you or a friend can pick up or have delivered for an additional charge. The cost for the three month membership is $65. $30 a month gets you three pints of whatever Bonta` dreams up. |
⦁ Memberships can be purchased at the downtown scoop shop located at 920 NW Bond, Ste. 108 (on Minnesota) or soon to be online.
Bontá – Natural Artisan Gelato
Scoop Shop: 920 NW Bond, Ste. 108, Bend (on Minnesota).
Dairy Creamery: 924 SE Wilson, Ste. A, Bend
CEO/owners: Jeff & Juli Labhart
No. Employees: 15
Year Established: 2011
Product/Service: Gelato manufacturing and retail