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Mount Kisco Restaurant Creates Gelato to Benefit Girl Scouts

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Via Vanti Owner
Via Vanti! owner Carla Gambescia

Carla Gambescia had a great time as a Girl Scout growing up in Philadelphia and she is giving back in multiple ways to honor the Scouts’ 100th anniversary.

Gambescia, the owner of the Via Vanti! restaurant in Mount Kisco, is donating $1 for each of the special pints of gelato and sorbetto created for the Scouts’ anniversary through the end of May. Several Scouts from the local area tasted the frozen treats on April 25.

“When I was young I was a Girl Scout. It was one of the most happy times of my youth. I wanted to do something to support the Scouts and to celebrate this momentous anniversary,” Gambescia said during the gelato –tasting event.

Girl Scouts Photo
Several Mount Kisco area Girl Scouts enjoyed gelato at Via Vanti!

Aside from the donations based on the sale of the special gelato and sorbetto, Gambescia is also providing a free pint of gelato to the Scouts when they reach their goal of selling 80 boxes of cookies. “We’re encouraging the entrepreneurship of the girls,” she said.

Viva Vanti! has created gelatos based on Girl Scout cookies, but without the cookies themselves. “I tried to create a flavor, and I think I was quite successful with that, that really is the experience of eating the cookie. Gambescia said. For example, herSamoasgelato features coconut caramel and chocolate. “I’ve achieved Samoasness,” she said.

Gambescia’s efforts are appreciated by the Girl Scouts, Octavia Ford, director of program for the Girls Scouts Heart of the Hudson, said, adding the Viva Vanti! owner was an outstanding entrepreneur. “She owns her own restaurant. What better example do you want young women to see?” Ford said. “She opened her doors and her heart to Girl Scouts.”

Cookie booths are also being set up in front of the restaurant on Saturdays, Ford said. Cookie sales benefit a wide variety of Girl Scout programs, such as summer camps, various Scout activities during the year, and the operating budget including costs associated with the upkeep of the Scout-owned properties, she said.

Ford said Gambescia was on target with the gelato flavors. “She got it right. There are a lot of people who try to get Girl Scout flavors right. She’s got all those flavors down,” Ford said.

The several scouts and scout leaders from the Mount Kisco area shared Ford’s enthusiasm for the gelatos and Gambescia’s efforts on behalf of the Girl Scouts

Susan Landon, leader of Troop 2809 in Briarcliff, said, “I think it’s terrific that Carla is supporting the Girls Scouts and encouraging them to sell cookies. I think the cookie program is just outstanding. The girls can learn so much from selling cookies. From the littlest girls who can learn not to be afraid when they go knock on someone’s door and how to speak loudly and how to be polite and very basic things that a six-year-old can learn through girls who are in high school who can really make a business out of this and learn very good entrepreneurial skills that will stay with them for their whole lives.”

Landon enjoyed the gelatos. “It tastes like the cookie,” she said. “They’re just perfect. She couldn’t have done any better with them.”

Grace Ullman, from Troop 2535 in Chappaqua, praised what Gambescia was doing for the Girl Scouts. “I think it was really brilliant,” Ullman, whose favorite frozen treat was the Savannah Smiles lemon sorbetto, said. “I just think it was so creative that they would come up with an idea like this.”

Abigail Kuhn, a member of Troop 2809, praised the efforts of Gambescia. “It’s absolutely incredible,” Kuhn said. “It really makes girls set goals to get the gelato. The gelato is absolutely incredible and it tastes amazing. And it’s actually an incentive to selling the cookies.”

The Scouts’ annual cookie drive is “extremely important,” Kuhn said. “It’s one of the main fund-raisers. There’s thousands and thousands and thousands of cookies sold each year. It gives the girls money that they can use for camps (or) use it at the Girl Scout Store.”

“It’s incredible how Carla, the owner, has really brought her love for Girl Scouts and her passion for Girl Scouts into this whole program,” Kuhn said.

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