MONTCLAIR, NJ - Aaron Brunert arrived at his job at a local ice cream shop on Friday, thinking it was a regular day. It was, that is, until the owner of Gelotti of Montclair, called him to the front counter and gave him the keys to a car.
Gelotti of Montclair, which is being rebranded as Gelati by Mike, opened in Montclair and Caldwell in 2014. Brunert joined the company in 2017 and has been an integral part of the business since, says owner Mike Guerriero.
Guerriero stated, "Aaron is an indispensable part of everything we do and one could argue we would not have been able to enter and win Gelato Festival without him."
He added that Brunert does far more than they could ask, including driving ice cream over to a sick customer's house last week, he took over operations while the owner was competing at the World and American Gelato Festival, of which his Blueberry Basil flavor won top honors, and he created the Montclair Make Music Day flavor.
He added, "Aaron embodies much more than an employee. At this point, he is our family."
During the past year, Guerriero stated that Brunert encountered a series of misfortunate events, including a health scare. But when Brunert's car broke down last week and he began taking a taxi from Garfield to work each day, Guerriero and his wife, Bre, decided to pitch in to help. He added that not once, did he ever hear Brunert complain or ask anyone for help.
They met up with a local couple who were looking to sell their car and struck a deal. The couple, Ron and Brittney Brown, came to the shop on Friday to give the keys, car and title to Brunert.
TAPinto Montclair caught up to Brunert, who stated that he was overwhelmed with emotion. "I am just so grateful and overwhelmed with joy. My heart is full."
Guerriero stated that his goal is to mostly to be able to give back to the community and others. "We do our best to take care of our community. We try to make choices that will create the most positive impact by changing the lives of our employees and investing in our current and future shops so that this growing family can have opportunities for their future."
He added, "Nothing I could have bought myself would have given me the same warm feeling as watching Aaron hug Ron and his wife, and the relief of knowing that the guy who does so much to make sure Bre and I are alright, has one more thing to smile about."
Editor's Note: As an aside, Guerriero explained that Gelotti of Montclair, Caldwell and Randolph will be undergoing a rebranding and will be soon called Gelati by Mike. Guerriero's Blueberry Basil recently won the title at the World Gelato Festival.