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IL Gelato Hawaii_About_Best Ice Cream


"We make people happy!"

It is our mission to make people happy by serving great tasting and all natural gelato (ice cream) with a big smile. We thrive for excellence on every level.

IL Gelato Hawaii_About_Best Coffee


Our Approach to Health and Taste

Our award winning, artisan gelato is made with great passion and Aloha! Our gelato is “all natural” and made fresh daily by using only the finest ingredients grown locally or from the best sources in Italy and around the world. We have created award winning, authentic recipes that are perfectly balanced and support a healthy lifestyle, and our gelato contains much less sugar and fat than ice cream.

Coffee_IL Gelato Hawaii_About_Ice Cream

The Art of Gelato Making

We love only the best!

We are dedicated to the true artisan, handcrafted gelato the way it is done by the finest gelato masters in Italy. We are using our own recipes, original Italian gelato equipment, and authentic traditional Italian processes.


Our gelato is made in certified and environmentally friendly production, using environmentally safe products wherever possible, and minimizing energy consumption.


Our process is key to our success and includes the following elements:

  • Using only the very best ingredients

  • Working from scratch – we make our own mixes, pastes, toppings, and garnishes

  • Extracting the flavors through cold and hot fusion processes

  • Making our products by hand, daily, and fresh

  • Maintaining storage in high-tech, specifically designed Italian gelato freezers.

IL Gelato Hawaii_Dirk Koeppenkastrop_Nicole Lueker

Our Company

We are passionate about gelato!

To combine their passion for Hawaii and Italian gelato, Dirk Koeppenkastrop and his wife Nicole Lueker founded IL Gelato Hawaii in 2010 in Honolulu on the Island of Oahu. As a University of Hawaii graduate with a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and a corporate food background, Dirk studied the Italian art of making gelato at Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy. Later, he trained and worked with gelato world champions in Europe. His natural science background allows him to bring gelato-making to a new level. Inspired by Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, Dirk fuses Hawaiian and Asian flavors with traditional European gelato making.

IL Gelato with Team USA at Gelato World Cup

We love to win!

Dirk Koeppenkastrop’s passion for excellent gelato and constant improvement of quality has led him to compete on the highest level. He is considered one of the best gelato makers in the world: He was Gelato Maker for Team USA in 2014 and Gelato Maker and Team Captain for Gelato Team USA in 2016 at the Gelato World Championship in Rimini, Italy, where he won 3rd place at the ‘Mystery Box Challenge’. 

IL Gelato Hawaii_Sustainability_Zero Waste

Zero Waste

We care about the environment!

Our love for all-natural gelato goes hand in hand with our wish to preserve our island.

For us, Zero Waste means: We aim to send nothing to the landfill!


Some of the things we do:

  • We use solar energy for our production. We offset 400 metric tons of carbon since installing our photovoltaic system.

  • We recycle our gelato containers and prevent over 35,000 containers going into the landfill every year.

  • We use energy efficient (hybrid) vehicles in our fleet.

  • We minimize all food wastes.

  • We use reusable dishes for all dining in and provide environmentally responsible to-go options.

  • We recycle card board and all residual waste is insinuated in a “waste to power” plant.

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