Local Spotlight: Mari Palhares and Flor Bortolacci of Geladona

Meet Mari Palhares and Flor Bortolacci, the founders of Geladona!

Creators of Geladona, Mari Palhares and Flor Bortolacci are partners both in life, and in work. They have created a frozen treat company that focuses on Brazilian flavours, bringing the Geladona experience to every bite, allowing customers to activate old memories, and create new ones! The geladona-style treat is a very traditional dessert from Brazil, usually home-made by grandmothers as an extra source of income, that cannot be found in stores.

Geladona was created when the pandemic started in 2020, by Mari, after she lost her sources of income while her mother was fighting a very aggressive illness back home. During this time, Mari and Flor started their company by selling geladonas to friends, and then expanded to friends of friends. Mari and Flor found an opportunity to start selling their products to retail, which was a huge success, so they decided to open an online store in 2021. Since then, the business has bloomed! Geladona’s first brick-and-mortar location opened in March of 2022 focusing on frozen treats, as well as serving coffee, pastries, and sweets. This summer marks the second season of Geladona!

Mari and Flor love re-creating traditional flavours through their food and desserts. They like to introduce some of their unique fruits to people who have never tried them including cupuacu, cashew fruit, soursop, abacate, and corn as a dessert! They develop and adjust their recipes, which challenges them to always be creative and innovative, and stay very attentive to feedback.

Similar to Beanfield, community is very important to Geladona. “It is the source of all support for anything we’re willing to do in life. It is the biggest connection one can have. And the sense of support and understanding and working together. A community is an exchange of services for all businesses and of course a safe place.” – Mari, of Geladona

Mari and Flor are very proud that as women, and as a couple, they are the first to bring such a simple and unique concept to the market. They believe that the world is moving toward the simplicity of what we eat, drink, wear, and do. Therefore, the main focus of Geladona is to introduce unique flavours in the most natural and simple way, using minimal ingredients, and nothing to “preserve”. This means no colours and no additional flavours. The most beautiful part is, that they make their frozen treats one by one, by hand, with the same amount of love.

Check out their amazing storefront at9 Silverthorn Ave in Toronto.

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