Who We Are
Tom, Donna and daughter Stephanie Puma became the 4th owners of this Sanibel Island landmark when they bought the store in June of 2007. The Pumas put their own spin on the business including franchising and re-introducing gelato to the Pinocchio’s brand upon returning to the disciplines of the original owners who originated the Sanibel shop in 1980 and mastered their own gelato techniques while living abroad in their Tuscan home in Arezzo, Italy. The Puma’s also spend time each year in Tuscany, Umbria and Liguria working with gelato artisans in the hopes of returning to Florida with flavor inspirations for the Pinocchio’s brand.
Time flew quickly as the Puma family operated the Sanibel store and grew the business along with their dedicated friendly staff. After twelve years of serving their award winning unique flavors of handcrafted frozen confections to Customers, they sold the store as a franchise location in November, 2017 to current owner Laurie Verme and her daughter Alice. There is a common bond between the Puma and Verme families. Besides the fact that they are all from New York, they also share a passion for good food and they understand the importance of a hands-on management approach to the business.
The Puma’s kept a personal and vested interest in the continued success of the little Green shop. They are the officers of Gustare Foods, LLC which is the parent company and franchisor for both Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream and sister shop, Geppetto’s Beach Foodies. It is also of personal importance to the Puma family that Pinocchio’s continues to produce quality unique handcrafted frozen while attaining continued customer loyalty and satisfaction. Same recipes, same location, same friendly staff and same great Pinocchio’s ice cream.
All Pinocchio’s ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbet and Italian custards are handcrafted daily in small batches in their onsite Pinocchio’s Laboratory from the finest and freshest ingredients. The flavors are unique. The ice cream is fresh (If they make it on Monday, they typically serve their ice cream on Tuesday or Wednesday.) The portions are generous and the staff works hard to make sure their Customers experience at Pinocchio’s is enjoyable. The Puma family thanks loyal fans for their continued Customer support and they look forward to growing the Pinocchio’s brand with additional locations and bringing Pinocchio’s to your home through future online ordering.