Gelato franchise Gelatissimo plans to open stores in Vietnam, Japan, the Middle East and South Africa, but says it will outsource all franchisee recruitment, both internationally and nationally.
Gelatissimo was founded in NSW by brothers Domenico and Marco Lopresti. Following in their father’s footsteps as an artisan gelato-maker, the brand is focused on authentic Italian gelato.
“We make the gelato fresh in store. It’s a point of difference – artisan, handmade, produced in the store – it gives us a really competitive advantage,” Domenico Lopresti says.
According to Marco Lopresti, franchising was not the original vision for the company.
“We were a 100% manufacturer in 2000, supplying retailers, cafés, restaurants. At the dinner table where the majority of decisions are made, we spoke often about getting into retail,” he says.
This led to an agreement with a retail investor to open the first Gelatissimo store, where the brothers would be supplier partners under contract.
Since the launch of the first store in 2002, the network has grown to more than 20 Australian stores, in addition to stores in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Italy and Kuwait.
Gelatissimo prides itself on being the first Australian gelato franchise to establish a presence in Italy, opening its trademark store next to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
The company now has its sights set on several other Asian markets – Vietnam and Japan – while the Middle East and South Africa are also on the company’s radar.
However, it has appointed Australian franchising specialist Global Franchise Partners to handle all international franchise opportunities.
Local franchise recruitment is also being outsourced, with Business Connection International responsible for NSW, while Finn Franchise Brokers will service WA, Queensland and Victoria.
“Our philosophy has always been that Gelatissimo franchises are granted not sold,” Domenico says.
“Although we are going through an exciting growth period, we remain committed to finding exactly the right people to operate each gelateria.”
“I am confident that our three new franchise recruitment companies will remain true to this philosophy.”
According to Gidon Rosing, head of global business development at GFP, there are four reasons why Gelatissimo will succeed internationally.
“The fresh products make it attractive to all areas in our region, the quality of the product is superior [and] Gelatissimo margins are high,” Rosing told Franchising.
“This is essential in the current global economy as people are looking for excellent investments and Gelatissimo has these margins.
“Finally, the owners and management are so passionate about the product and brand that they do not cut corners and are totally committed to supporting the expansion.
“The Gelatissimo model translates well.”