Bontà - Natural Artisan Gelato

American Made Since 2011

Jeff & Juli Labhart

Bend, Oregon
Pure, creamy gelato, churned in small batches, with simple ingredients from the Northwest and beyond, chock full of intense flavor and goodness.

Tell us about your business.

Inspired and enlivened by a one year trip around the world, Jeff and Juli Labhart returned with a want to capture the flavors from the street stalls of Thailand, the spice fields of Zanzibar, the mountains of India, and other exotic locales into the creamy fresh goodness of gelato. Every small batch of Bontà gelato is hand-crafted using only the best ingredients with many coming from the Oregon countryside. For it was their travels that made them realize that many of the world's best ice cream ingredients can be found right here at home. Jeff grew up in the dairy community of Tillamook, Oregon and at a young age understood that the reason the milk and cream tasted so good here in the Northwest was all of the tall, green grass the cows munched on all year long. Juli was raised in the berry community of Lynden, Washington, where in her younger years, she worked the berry fields. She still wonders why she was never fired, because it seemed more berries went into her mouth than

What makes your business stand out?

The word artisan gets over-used in the food market, but we truly are just that. We hand craft everyone of our flavors using local ingredients when ever possible. We hand peel mangos, we press our own citrus juices, we pick our own mint, and we roast our rhubarb. We have a fantastic partnership with Eberhard's Dairy and they have been very supportive of our company and we are proud to use their high quality milk and cream. Other local products we use in our gelato and sorbetto include Oregon Spirit Distillers Bourbon, Tumalo Lavender, Miracle Acres Rhubarb, NW Clover Honey, Oregon Hazelnuts and Theo Chocolate. Finally, being small we have the ability to follow the seasons with our flavors. We start with Strawberry Rhubarb in the spring and move into the berries and apricots in the summer and then into the pumpkin and apples in the fall.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Don't worry about what your competition is doing. Focus on what you do and do it well.

Comments (0)


Mark Your Calendar

    Jun. 17, 2015

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring entrepreneurs.

    Learn about American Made
    Sep. 21, 2015

    Vote for your favorite makers.

    Oct. 23, 2015

    2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2015

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets available July 2015.

More Nominees

  • theBird+theBeard

    Jessica Schaefer
    I began my business selling designs used in my own wedding. After a few sales, I launched a greeting card line and the rest is history.
    Crafts, Paper Crafts
  • Handmade, custom jewelry & accessories that are versatile and unique in style. They’re statement pieces full of vibrant patterns and colors.
    Style, Accessories
  • Simple & Crisp

    Jane Yuan
    Our artisanal dried fruit crackers are a naturally gluten-free & healthy alternative to enjoying your cheese with a wheat-based cracker.
    Food, Dry Goods
  • Gifts of Love Pottery

    Sally Durkee
    American home based functional pottery studio. Pine needle baskets and bases.
    Crafts, Ceramics, Pottery & Glass