Tag Archives: Kelly Emmert

Cold Fusion: The Remarkable Back Story

Cold Fusion opened Thursday. From the moment the new gelato place served its first scoop, it was packed.

It’s on Main Street near Avery Place, in the former Papyrus space next to Chase Bank.

Or, to put it another way: opposite the old Remarkable Book Shop.

The Remarkable Book Shop.

Relative newcomers know it as the long-shuttered Talbots (soon to be, remarkably, Local to Market, selling fresh produce, food and artisan craft items, all produced around here).

Cold Fusion owners (and longtime Westporters) Eric and Kelly Emmert know their history. As they planned their store, they knew they wanted to honor their long-ago neighbor.

For 34 years, an Edward Gorey-inspired dancing figure hung on the side of the Remarkable Book Shop.

Now — after all these years — he’s back.

With a different point of view. He’s inside Cold Fusion — occupying the spot he gazed out upon, for all those years.

The Remarkable Guy was stored at the former Westport Historical Society. More recently, Pam Barkentin has taken care of him. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

The Remarkable Book Shop was owned by Sidney and Esther Kramer. (The store’s perfect name includes “Kramer,” spelled backward.) Their children, Mark and Wendy, have loaned the iconic work of art to the Emmerts.

Esther made her store a Westport landmark. Shelves were filled with books on every topic imaginable. Cozy, overstuffed chairs (and a house cat named Heathcliffe) invited browsers to sit, read, linger and talk to each other long before “store experiences” were a thing.

Esther knew every customer’s name, from Paul Newman and writers to young children. She and her team of loyal, learned employees remembered everyone’s interests and tastes, and happily recommended the next good read.

Warm, friendly and funky, the pink store was a community gathering place from 1960 until 1994.

That’s the kind of feeling the Emmerts hope to recreate at Cold Fusion. Bringing the Remarkable Guy back is a great way to start.

Cold Fusion: Today’s Hot Opening

Main Street’s gelato cup runneth over.

Cold Fusion opens today. That’s the second gelato shop downtown. La Fenice was the first, last month.

The Cold Fusion brand is well known to Westporters — and has a distinct local “flavor.”

Gelato and sorbet — made by hand, with all-natural, locally sourced ingredients — is sold at many cool places on the East Coast (including Mystic Market and Rizzuto’s). There’s also a retail store in Newport, Rhode Island.

Cold Fusion is owned by Westporters Eric and Kelly Emmert. They searched for a long time for a local shop. They found the perfect location in the old Papyrus store (next to Chase Bank).

There’s an outdoor patio too. History lovers note: The original Ice Cream Parlor was located a few doors away.

Owner Eric Emmert (right) and crew Nate Kolek and Imogen Barnes — both Staples High School graduates — are ready for customers. (Photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

The Emmerts offer 32 artisan gelato choices, both traditional (hazelnut, pistachio, stracciatella) and new (amaretto almond crunch, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, milk chocolate brownie). There are no food colorings, powders or preservatives.

Sorbets are dairy-free, vegan and made with fresh whole fruits. Everything is kosher-certified.

Besides gelato and sorbet, Cold Fusion carries locally sourced chocolates, and espresso, cappuccino and coffee from local roasters. Hand-packed and packaged pints are available to go.

Cold Fusion is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Eric and Kelly Emmert, and their gelato.

Hot News! Cold Fusion Gelato Shop Opens In May.

Cold Fusion is hot.

Westporters Eric and Kelly Emmert’s company makes and distributes gelato and sorbet — all by hand, with all-natural, locally sourced ingredients. Every item is kosher-certified.

You can find Cold Fusion at all the cool places on the East Coast (including Mystic Market and Rizzuto’s). There’s also a retail store in Newport, Rhode Island.

For years, fans have asked the Emmerts to open a place here.

Bingo!

Sometime in May, the former Main Street Papyrus store (next to Chase Bank) will become Cold Fusion Gelato. The lease was finalized today.

Like its Newport cousin, Cold Fusion will be a magnet for gelato lovers. There are 32 flavors, ranging (alphabetically) from amaretto almond to toffee crunch.

It will also serve sorbet (including vegan), coffee (cappuccino and espresso), snacks, shakes, smoothies and chocolates.

There will be café tables; a few seats in front, overlooking Main Street, and (pending permits) sidewalk seating too.

Eric and Kelly Emmert, and their gelato.

The Emmerts have been looking for downtown space for a while. They’re thrilled to be on Main Street, in such a key location. “The landlord is great,” Eric says. “We don’t have to charge $15 for ice cream.”

Eric knows his history. He’s excited to open just a few doors away from the original Ice Cream Parlor.

And he’s well aware that Westporters are eager for more mom-and-pop shops downtown.

Having raised 2 daughters here — and been involved with the community as youth coaches, Girl Scouts and other activities — the Emmerts are actually, honestly, truly a Westport “mom and pop.”

With the best gelato shop between here and Newport.

Cold Fusion Gelato will take over the old Papyrus space.

 

Cold Fusion Comes To Westport

About 3 years ago, Eric Emmert and his wife Kelly got the entrepreneurial itch.

He was commuting from Westport to New York, where he traded high-yield bonds. She worked in sales and marketing.

They looked at various options, including a medical supply company. Meh.

Then they found a gelato business. Bingo!

“Everyone loves the ice cream guy,” Eric notes.

Eric and Kelly Emmert, and their gelato.

At the end of 2016, the couple bought Cold Fusion. The Massachusetts-based firm makes and distributes gelato and sorbet — all by hand, using all-natural, locally sourced ingredients. There’s a line of vegan sorbets, and every item is kosher-certified.

The website explains: “The result of all of this love and dedication is a silky, cool, uplifting fusion of flavor.” (Eric’s favorite: salted caramel chunk.)

A Cold Fusion sampling.

“Gelato is healthier than ice cream,” Eric says. “There’s less fat and fewer calories. And the taste lingers more.”

Sure, it’s a great, fun product. But the couple did not sit around smacking their lips. They restructured Cold Fusion, and grew it.

Working with a new distributor, they’re marketing Cold Fusion up and down the East Coast. You can find it here at Mystic Market and Rizzuto’s; it’s also sold at Walrus + Carpenter restaurant in Bridgeport, and other restaurants around Hartford and Providence. There’s a retail store in Newport, Rhode Island.

The factory is in Massachusetts. Eric and Kelly hope to move the facility closer to home. “I’ve looked at half the vacant spaces in town,” he says.

In their 13 years in Westport, raising 2 daughters here, both have sunk roots into the community. Eric has coached basketball and softball, and been an age-group commissioner. Kelly has coached basketball and volleyball, been a Girl Scout leader, and a member of the Westport Young Woman’s League.

The owners donate Cold Fusion products to local functions, like Homes with Hope’s White Party, the Staples High School PTA holiday lunch and Kings Highway Elementary School’s 5th grade moving-up ceremony.

Gelato is now Eric’s full-time business. Kelly continues in her corporate job, but adds her marketing acumen to Cold Fusion.

The Emmerts are so excited for future growth, they can almost taste it.

Something they might not be able to say if they’d bought that medical supply company, instead of this one 3 years ago.