Cher, a world-renowned American singer and actress with a reputation for recording chart topping hits, has added to her impressive list of accomplishments with the creation of Cherlato. This unique line of artisanal gelato embodies Cher’s love of ice cream with her passion for bringing joy to the lives of others. As you read this article, the Cherlato truck is currently on the move, stopping at iconic locations across the city of Los Angeles!
Unbeknownst to the general public, this praiseworthy dessert has been in the works for quite some time. What began with a serendipitous encounter turned into the perfect pairing for a delicious entrepreneurial endeavor. Back in 2018, Cher came across a gelato shop while traveling in Auckland. The product presentation and flavors were like nothing she had ever experienced before and Cher knew this was the caliber of ice cream she wanted to make her own.
As fate would have it, Giapo, the owner, was not on site that day. So Cher followed up her visit with a phone call to discuss the possibility of collaborating on crafting a gelato guaranteed to surpass every ice cream lover’s expectations. The two didn’t end up meeting in person until Giapo made the trip to California in 2021. By then, Cher and Giapo had shared many exciting ideas with one another and were serious about bringing the concept of Cherlato to fruition in Los Angeles.
“I like to think that our passion for ice cream brought us together, and our working relationship reflects that passion,” said Giapo. “We understand each other’s desire for greatness in both of our crafts, which is something very special.”
Cher recognized and held an appreciation for the experience and artistry Giapo brought to the equation. He and his wife had opened their gelato shop 17 years ago. It was not their first business venture but this time, they were not afraid to take risks or to go into things blindly. Giapo believes this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it allowed them to challenge the status quo. Standing out from the crowd is ultimately what got Cher’s attention.
“I was on tour in New Zealand and I can simply say that Giapo’s gelato was the best ice cream I had ever tasted. It stood out,” said Cher. “First, my assistant brought some to me at the hotel. Then when I went to the shop myself, it was quite special. The whole presentation was completely dazzling — and those gold cones!!! They were displayed in large apothecary jars and I couldn’t wait to try one.”
Giapo developed these innovative, eye-catching golden cones in New Zealand. They are designed to look like a beautiful jewel and have the ability to captivate any passers-by. In Los Angeles, the warmer weather posed a bit of a challenge as the cones melted faster but that didn’t stop Cher and Giapo. They possess an unwavering commitment to providing Cherlato customers with an amazing experience. Together, they came up with the solution of giving out complimentary white gloves to everyone who orders one of these glamorous cones. As a result, the phrase ‘A white glove and gold lips’ has become a wonderful signature for the brand!
This focus on elevating the customer experience can be seen and tasted in every aspect of Cherlato. Cher and Giapo don’t believe in cutting corners. Drawing inspiration from the resources around them, they make it a point to source as many ingredients as possible from local farms and partners in California. This is how flavors like Venice Vibes, a vegan option featuring a sophisticated combination of mango and tajin, came to be.
Giapo has spent years developing his passion as a gelato creator. He has a degree in food science, which he puts to good use in order to mix unusual flavors together that surprise and delight Cherlato customers. Constantly experimenting with new palate pleasing innovative concepts, Cher and Giapo aim to update the menu items every few weeks. This allows customers to have a different and equally enjoyable experience each time they visit the Cherlato truck.
“When Giapo explained his process to me, it included the highest quality ingredients, organic fruits, artistry, and the need to have the freshest and tastiest ice cream,” said Cher. “He has successfully brought all of this to Cherlato and we are so proud of the response we get wherever we go in Los Angeles.”
According to Giapo, Cher draws on aspects of her life and childhood in her flavor ideas and pushes him to make them shine. Like one of Cherlato’s most popular items, Cher’s Mom’s Cheesecake. Giapo had never made a cheesecake flavored gelato before, and he certainly hadn’t tried the namesake dish by Cher’s mom. But armed with only Cher’s memory and an old, faded notecard with the original recipe, the two were able to perfect this nostalgia-filled treat. Another flavor that came straight from Cher’s brain was Breakfast at Cher’s Coffee & Donuts, which has also proven to be a total hit. With Cher’s vision and Giapo’s expertise, they are an unstoppable dessert duo.
As the Cherlato truck makes its way from stop to stop, they have locals and tourists alike singing praises for a fresh final product that goes beyond your typical ice cream — it is a delectable, edible work of art. No boring scoops here! But it’s not just the gelato that stands out among the sea of Los Angeles ice cream vendors. Everything from the name to the truck design has Cher’s style and personality written all over it.
“The Cherlato name came about in the summer of 2018. I was telling my friends the whole story of finding Giapo’s gelato in New Zealand while on tour and how I planned to work with him to create my own ice cream brand,” said Cher. “We were all sitting at the table having lunch and everyone was throwing out ideas for a name and suddenly I thought, Cherlato!”
Just like the destined meeting between Cher and Giapo, some ideas just find each other. When it came time to design the truck, the Cherlato team began going through many iterations from graffiti art to a more old-fashioned, traditional look. None of it was feeling right until Cher came across a photograph she had taken months prior. The image of Cher in a designer leather jacket eating an ice cream cone enveloped everything: fashion and playfulness with her dessert of choice at the center of it all. Working with an art director, the Cherlato brand embraced an Andy Warhol-inspired design that spoke to Cher’s love for neon and innately electrifying personality.
“Cherlato brings joy to people and our goal is to keep spreading that joy,” said Giapo. “The brand is artistic, delightful and delicious — just like Cher.”
From the very beginning, Cher’s goal has been to bring Giapo’s exceptional gelato to Los Angeles. As a resident of Malibu, Southern California holds a special place in her heart, making it the right Cherlato flagship location. That being said, bringing her personally-branded line of gelato to different corners of her home city is likely just the beginning. What is currently a food truck making its way across certain areas of the Golden State has every possibility of expanding to storefronts and making a name for itself nationwide. Bringing Cherlato to life has been — and will undoubtedly continue to be — a delicious entrepreneurial journey. Just like Cher’s No. 1 hit song, Believe, Cher has always believed her own gelato brand would become a fan favorite.
“Giapo and I just found each other. It all sounds unlikely yet, here we are,” said Cher. “It took five years but my dream to bring Cherlato to Los Angeles has come true. And I can’t wait for everyone to try our gelato that delivers exceptional flavors perfectly paired with feel good vibes.”