Osoyoos Gelato

Our background

I, Robert Klei, and my wife Gwen Monteith moved to Osoyoos from Calgary in 1999. Before we settled in Osoyoos we first spent a year travelling in Australia, where we drove around the perimeter of the continent, following the coast as much as possible. Once settled in Osoyoos I spent six years at one of our local wineries, first managing the wine shop and later on as a cellar rat. The cold and damp conditions in the cellar weren’t quite to my liking and I decided to pursue a long-held dream of operating my own ice cream business. In preparation I took the highly acclaimed Ice Cream Technology Course offered at University of Guelph, Ontario. I had already decided that it was going to be Italian style ice cream, better known as gelato. There was no gelato being offered anywhere in the South Okanagan, so our little home town of Osoyoos seemed to be as good a place as any to set up business.

Roberto’s Gelato opened in May 2006 under the original name “Osoyoos Gelato”, then located at Lakeview Plaza at the junction of Highways 3 and 97. This turned out to be a less than stellar location and as soon as the Watermark Beach Resort was finished construction in 2010 we moved into our present location at the south end of the building and changed our name to Roberto’s. We have been making and selling our delicious frozen treats in that spot ever since.


I am the chief gelato maker, in the busy summer assisted by our dedicated employees. One of them is usually in charge of making the base mix for our milk based flavours. We recruit our employees mostly from Osoyoos Secondary and many of them return year after year, some for as many as five or six years in a row. We have been lucky to be able to find so many hard-working young people.

I am also an avid bicycle enthusiast and firmly believe that more of us should use this form of transportation as an alternative to driving our butts around everywhere. So I commute to and from work, often using various detours since the distances in Osoyoos are rather small. Bicycle touring is one of my favourite holiday activities, albeit one that for various and sundry reasons is not all that often possible. But I did travel extensively in Australia and anyone interested can read up on my journal and blog (on side bar). I have also covered most of the KVR (Kettle Valley Railway) between Castlegar and Hope, including many of the smaller side spurs. Any bike-packing cyclist passing through Osoyoos is always welcome to collect a free treat at Roberto’s.