Creating any flavor of gelato is the passion of Kenneth Aguayo, the 28-year-old whose ability to prepare this dessert with goat’s milk has found his entrepreneurial space in the Junquino soil.
From Hacienda Dos Aromas, this young man from Cagüeño works on his project called Goatlato, a wonderful product that comes with about 20 flavours, where he experiments with new proposals, combining flavors and achieving balanced and delicious recipes to satisfy his customers. This is, precisely, the part of the business the young entrepreneur is most interested in, which has flavors ranging from mango and coconut, passion fruit and almond, chocolate and Snickers, rocky road, stracciatella (the Italian version of chocolate chip) and red velvet. Cheesecake, taro, strawberry, pistachio.
It also includes house specialties: goat milk cheesecake and chocolate brownie. But Aguayo also excels at making special requests that some chefs request with unusual flavors.
“We’re making 20 flavors constantly right now, but the flavors are endless. Whatever any chef or anyone wants to ask for, we work to make it happen. That’s the part I like the most about my job, when they ask me to make weird flavors, because It gives me the opportunity to experiment myself and I can learn more,” said the expert, who mentioned the flavors of lychee (Japanese fruit) and olive oil as the strangest gelato he had ever had to make.
In the creative process, Kenneth consults with many fellow chefs whose creativity gives him a taste for criticism and recommendations. “When the flavor is strange, I do some things to try and I have a list of chefs that I trust. “They try to tell me some ways to improve or ask me to remove something or different tricks that one does not know, and little by little, I perfect the recipe until it is balanced,” admits the young man.
However, the foundation of Kenneth’s knowledge comes from his studies in Italy, where he went to study five years ago to learn the art of gelato. “I studied at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners (ICIF), where they generally offer different cooking courses, but the course I took was preparing gelato. It was a three-month course and I learned other things, because they also taught me baking. Last month,” Aguayo explained. “I was working in Sicily in a pastry shop, and then I came to Puerto Rico.”
Upon arriving on the island, it took some time to start entrepreneurship, but thanks to the financial assistance given to him amid the Covid-19 pandemic, he was able to give impetus to his 2021 business idea.
“It was more complicated than I thought, because in Italy they teach you how to set up your store, but not how to start small. When I saw that the equipment was very expensive I said: ‘God knows when I will be able to do it.’ But then I realized that I could Starting small, I bought some homemade ice cream makers and started at home. “I woke up making a lot of ice cream with those little machines, until I saved money and bought that little bigger machine,” he said.
The opportunity has arrived
However, Kenneth’s work caught the attention of the owners of Hacienda dos Aromas, who saw him constantly searching their farm for the raw material to make his own ice cream: goat’s milk. And so the doors opened for him to do a more formal project in the farmhouse kitchen in February of this year.
“When I met Alberto Roque, the owner of Hacienda dos Aromas, he gave me the opportunity to come here to make my product.. It was a very big opportunity. It feels a little scary, because I was the only one who was going to start from here, but the project is growing, and I am doing very well and I really like it because there are opportunities that appear and others that are lost. “This leads me to believe that this could be something very big,” Aguayo admitted.
For his part, Roque confirms that he saw Aguayo’s desire to move forward, and decided to help him. So he opened the doors of his kitchen to prepare the product and added gelato tasting to the “tour” offered by his agricultural tourism farm.
“We saw him come in to get the goat milk, and I started to take an interest in what was going on in his company. I saw the skills he had, and that he was missing that simple drive for his business to have a space to make his own ice cream. What I did was I offered him work in my certified kitchen, and I told him that He doesn’t have to pay rent or anything at all. “When you’re well enough to negotiate with us, say to me, ‘Rock, let’s do business.’“, stated the owner, who highlighted the impact the product had.
“His gelato is a monster product that attracts people. There are people who come here just to buy gelato. He makes any flavor we ask for, and since he arrived he has sold about 6 or 7 times what he sold.”
Kenneth’s goal is now to obtain a larger machine to increase his production capacity and distribute it elsewhere, in addition to introducing his product to store patrons. “For now, we only sell it from here (Hacienda dos Aromas in Juncos) and do delivery, but I would like to have more points of sale in the metro area, so more people can get the product. Eventually, I would like to have my own store.” So that people can enjoy the full experience, because gelato is a product that is meant to be eaten immediately, because its texture is smoother and creamier. When I sell it by the pints, you cannot appreciate the gelato experience 100%. “I would like to have a store,” the businessman concluded. So people eat like they’re supposed to.”
To learn more about Goatlato and order, you can access their website. Facebook Or call 787-637-3230.