Gelato Bar offers free treats to ease economic pain

STUDIO CITY Calif. After losing more than $1.5 million in savings in the widely publicized Ponzi scheme led by former Nasdaq chairman Bernard Madoff, Gelato Bar owners Gail Silverton and Joel Gutman are fighting back: They are giving away free gelato.

On Jan. 1 from 8 a.m. to closing, the artisanal gelato shop in Studio City, Calif., is offering all customers a two-for-the-price-of-one gelato deal in an attempt to throw some good news at all the bad of late.

Silverton is the sister of Nancy Silverton, co-owner of the popular Los Angeles restaurant duplex Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza. The family’s losses in Madoff’s admitted scam were featured in a recent Los Angeles Times article. After the article appeared so many customers stepped forward to share their economic tales of woe, Gail Silverton decided to give something back with the free gelato offer.

“Although this is a small gesture, we feel that this is a time to pull together,” said Gail Silverton. “We want all of those who have suffered financially or have lost their income during this recession to treat themselves on New Year’s Day. We can then start 2009 with a feeling of hope and good will towards others and begin the healing process we all need.”