About Zio & Sweet

How it started

My first real job in high school, was at a place called Runaway Bay. This fantastic store served pizza, burgers, and sandwiches, but the best was their ice cream that came in both soft serve and hard pack. Half of the building was the ice cream side! The restaurant would have massive lines every night, and I loved it!


And then...

Having traveled the world in the music business for over 40 years, my countless tours in Europe almost always went through Italy. Fortunately, when in Italy, there was always the opportunity to visit the local gelato shops.

Eventually it was time for a change that would allow me to stay home but still be involved with something that makes people happy. It hit me immediately!

Now here we are

All those great memories gave birth to the idea of Zio & Sweet Italian Desserts. So in November of 2020, I began this transition. Now here it is, one year later. The grand opening was in November of 2021!

Our gelato, sorbetto, and pastries all come from real old-world recipes of a family from Milan that started in the dessert business over 60 years ago. They make the products that we proudly serve to you. Nobody can make it better.

A Special Thank You to all of these great people

You’re probably asking yourself, “What exactly is Zio & Sweet?” Yes, Zio is Italian for “Uncle” but was also a nickname of mine when I was in my teens. This was given to me by my dear friend Daryl Cappiello.

Daryl played an important part in getting this little store going. So, I give a nod of thanks to him for his insight and guidance. Sweet? Sure, what we serve is definitely considered sweet, but “Sweet” is what I call my wife, Sophia. She is the reason this transplanted New Yorker, via Los Angeles, and is now a resident of Santa Barbara.

Sophia is my balance, center, consigliere, and the love of my life. She keeps my “East Coast” in check and my eye on the ball. She is the reason you are reading this!

Robert Vitamonte and Neil Bruskin of Score in Santa Barbara. If you want to open a business, these are the guys and the organization to go to! They always say that I’m the one driving the car, but they’re the ones who gave me the keys. 

A very special thank you to; Joshua Rabinowitz Esq., Kim Abkin, Christi Vior, Smoother Smythe, Megan Duckett, David Shadoan, Leigh Spriggs, Scott Mantell, Sean Walsh, Robert Falcone, Crosby Slaught, Miles Waters, Nick Weiser, Skylar Slayman, Sandro Boos, Jason Carlton, Scott Eldridge, Bob Socha, Dan Stuart Esq, and Patty Henry.