Business Spotlight: Leonardo and Silvia Baldi - Dolce Salato

Silvia, Giuseppe and Leonardo Baldi. Photo by Carina Mask.

The American dream is alive and well for Leonardo and Silvia Baldi. The first time they came to the U.S., in 1999, it was as tourists. They instantly fell in love with the country, Florida in particular.

When they returned to Italy they sold everything and applied for an Investors Visa. They opened their first business “Gelato Dream” in 2002 on Las Olas followed by “Italian Café,” also on Las Olas, featuring their trademark artisan gelato whose ingredients were imported from Italy. Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, but it is a much softer version because it contains little or no air and has an elastic texture. Less air equals more intense flavor, with less fat content.

Next they moved to Key West where they opened "Duetto - Pizza/Gelato." They were joined by their cousin Giancarlo an Italian pizzaiolo by trade. The business was a success, they sold it (it is still doing great in KW) and in 2015 chose Wilton Manors as the start of their next adventure. "Dolce Salato" was born and it’s now a mainstay of The Drive.

Their son Giuseppe learned how to make pizza from his cousin and he is now in charge of the ovens. Leonardo and Silvia continue to make spectacular pizza and gelato for the hungry residents and visitors of Wilton Manors. They love the feel of working in the island city.

They say their customers are incredibly nice and fun, alas demanding. They want good food in a friendly atmosphere. For Leonardo and Silvia one of the most gratifying aspects of their business is to see their place filled with both gay and straight people, children, and families all getting along and enjoying each other’s company while devouring slices of the most beloved comfort food in the world.

They say it is a true rainbow.

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