Grom is an Italian gelato chain that began in Turin in the first decade of this century, founded by two young Italian entrepreneurs, Guido Martinetti and Federico Grom. It has very few shops outside Italy, but of them, Tokyo has the most, with four branches.
I stopped in at the Jingumae branch on Omotesando Street, not far from Harajuku Station. The flavors are multitudinous and the caramel gelato I ordered was one of the best-tasting I’d ever had.
The service was impeccably Japanese, to a fault. The woman before me waited and waited for hers, and when it came, it was a little different from what she had ordered. “It’s OK - I’ll take it, I’ll take it,” she said - clearly tired of waiting. Nevertheless, the girl behind the counter completely ignored her request, threw the “wrong” order in the trash (three scoops of delicious gelato - into the trash!), and started all over again. The woman waiting groaned.
Anyway, after the delicious flavor experience, my most memorable impression of the Jingumae Grom has to be the slogan above the counter (see photo above):
“Grom does not employ colorants, aromas, conservatives or any chemical additives. We never did. We never will.”
No conservatives? Well, they’re lucky they’re based in fairly liberal Tokyo (although the governor of the metropolis, Shintaro Ishihara is not exactly a lefty) and that their staff is nice and young. A hiring policy like that might pose considerable problems out in the more staid and stuffier provinces.
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