How to Start
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way selling to your deserving customers some of the best gelato in the United States! Also feel free to contact us anytime if you need help or for any questions. We’re always here to help and can also set up a free in-store or phone consultation.
STEP 1: Determine how much space you’ll need.
SPACE is definitely important! You’ll need space to place a gelato dipping case or freezer display case. You’ll also need freezer space to hold extra gelato. Here are some things to think about.
- Gelato dipping case. For some general information about the differences between true gelato cases and ice cream dip cabinets, see our supplies page. More specifically, you should be looking for a gelato case; one that uses forced air to keep all the gelato at a consistent temperature throughout. You don’t want gelato in part of the case soft while another part hard as a rock! Nick’s Hint: Search online. Many times you’ll find good deals on used gelato cases that may fit your budget. If you’re looking for new cases, you can also search the Internet, but we’re also here to help. Please let us help you get started!
- Number of Flavors. There are many factors to consider when deciding on how many flavors to display and serve. One very important consideration is SPACE, again! Of course, if your store is small you won’t be able to install a large case and you may not have enough freezer space for extra gelato either. Many of the businesses we deliver to are very small, but they’re able to use a 6- or 9-pan case to do the trick. They serve a half a dozen flavors that remain the same and change out 2 or 3 every few weeks to surprise their customers with “Flavor of the Week/Month.” If you have a larger store, you may consider larger 18- or 24-pan cases. Be careful though! You need to be sure to study your customer traffic numbers. Even with our natural gelato that lasts 2-3 weeks in the serving case, you’ll be throwing product away if customers don’t show up!
- Freezer Storage. Again, you’ll need SPACE to place a freezer; one you’ll use to store extra gelato. The space and number of flavors you decide on will determine what kind of freezer you’ll need. From the smallest chest freezers to larger upright freezers for businesses to full walk-in freezers, you’ll have many choices to consider, but SPACE is ultimately the limiting factor. The bigger the better!
STEP 2: Purchase your new/used gelato dipping case or freezer display case.
Once you’ve decided on your case (either dipping or freezer display) you’re ready to fork over the dough to get started. But please let us help you before you pay! We’re ready to help you get the best deal and know which cases are best; and which are lemons! All gelato dipping cases are not equal.
STEP 3: Purchase your new/used freezer.
As discussed earlier, this could be a chest freezer, stand-up freezer or walk-in.
Here’s something that may help you decide:
|Ease of Use
- Chest Freezers These range in size from small 5 cubic-foot (cu. ft.) brands that can hold only a very few gelato pans to some of the largest that are upwards of 20 cu. ft. in which you can store 30-35 extra pans. The prices you’ll see out there for new freezers range anywhere from $149 to $399 for small cases to $550 to $900 for large cases; and the brand does matter when it comes to price. One thing to consider when deciding to get a chest freezer or not: Ease of use. This is not the best option for your employees when they’re rushed for time and they’re trying to bend over a chest freezer to find the Chocolate Cookie Dough deep inside the freezer. It is a little harder and takes more time to fetch extra gelato from one of these freezers, but it is economical and there is decent space inside with the medium to large ones.
- Upright Freezers These are overall the best freezers to consider when looking at all the constraints. They can be a little pricey, but they are more economical that a full walk-in. New prices are in the range of $1,800 to $2,200 for a one-door brand to $2,200 to $3,800 for two-doors. There are also bigger ones if your space and budget allow. As far as space, it obviously depends on how big you go and as for ease of use, these are most definitely better than chest freezers but not as easy as walk-ins to retrieve that extra gelato when you need it fast!
- Walk-In Freezers These are the ultimate, but you have to pay. They’re very expensive; $5,000 to $10,000 or more. But what you get is the best when it comes to space to store gelato and ease of use!
STEP 4: Order your gelato (Ask about getting 10% off First Deliveries).
Once you have your dipping or display case(s) in place and your freezer storage up and running let us know and we’ll be glad to help you choose the best flavors. To start with see "Nick’s Best Sellers" to see what flavors many of our businesses are having success with. But use your imagination and choose a couple of exotic or different flavors such as “Mexican Chocolate Chipotle”, “French Chocolate Caramel Brandy Fudge” or “Chocolate Peanut Butter Toasted Coconut Marshmallow Swirl.” You’ll need to get enough flavors to fill the size of gelato case you decided on and have some extras to change out when needed.
Nick’s Rules of Thumb: Add 2 extra flavors for every 6 pans your case holds. For example, order 8 flavors for a 6-pan case, 12 for a 9-pan case, 16 for a 12-pan case and so on. This way you’ll always be sure to have some different flavors available when a flavor is a bit slow (which does happen at times).
Please refer to the “Packaging” tab to see all the sizes of boxes, from 4 and 6 ounce cups to Pints/Quarts, to 172 ounce Tubs and 2 ½ Gallon Buckets and finally to our most popular (by far) what we call Traypacks (450 ounces).
STEP 5: Order supplies.
You’ll need cups, spoons, gelato spades/spatulas, flavor sticks/signs and advertising materials. You can get them from us by visiting the Supplies tab or by searching on your own. Remember to advertise well. Consider displaying signs outside of your business on easels, if allowed, or in your windows to encourage new customers to enter. Make them bright and attractive and use the word “GELATO.” We also advise to add some descriptive slogan or words such as “Chef Quality Italian Ice Cream” to explain to the novice what gelato is. Many people, especially in the Western U.S., don’t really know what gelato is (they often think it’s Italian Ice). You should also consider placing small signs and/or table tents inside your store near your gelato case(s). Another thing you should consider is to place a sign labeled “What is Gelato?”, “What is Sorbetto?”, “The Difference Between Gelato and Traditional Ice Cream.”
We can help you with all of your advertising needs/desires. Let us know what type of store you have and we’d be glad to give you some sound advice!
Please let us use our experience to help you be successful.