Published on May 24, 2012

The Gelato Fiasco Recognized in Congressional Record

Just in case you’re behind in your reading of the Congressional Record: To our surprise, Senator Olympia Snowe has submitted a statement to the record recognizing and commending our crew.

It’s always nice to hear that folks enjoy our gelato and service and are proud of the company that we’ve built with our employees, customers, and partners.

If you haven’t been sworn into Congress yet but want to offer your own review, we’d be much obliged if you’d leave your thoughts on TripAdvisor (Brunswick | Portland) or Yelp (Brunswick | Portland).

Thanks to Senator Snowe for her very kind shout-out. Here here’s her statement, from page S2724 of the record of the 112th Congress:

RECOGNIZING THE GELATO FIASCO — (Senate – April 25, 2012)

Ms. SNOWE. “Mr. President, in anticipation of the warm spring weather upon us and the long summer days ahead in my home State of Maine, our thoughts quickly turn towards fun in the sun and cool refreshing treats. Today, I rise to commend and recognize The Gelato Fiasco, located in Brunswick, ME, for developing and growing a niche market serving delectable frozen gelato treats while expanding and creating economic opportunities across the State.

“In 2002, the founders of The Gelato Fiasco, Josh Davis and Bruno Tropeano, were students at Bentley University in Waltham, MA, and dreamed of starting their own company and becoming successful entrepreneurs. As the two students spent their time exploring various ventures, this team decided to open a homemade gelato store as a result of being dissatisfied with the gelato options available to them throughout the Northeast.

“Made mostly from milk and sugar, gelato has less fat than standard ice cream and also contains less air, making the final product denser. Taking advantage of the small gelato market that existed with an estimated 1,500 gelaterias total in the United States Bruno and Josh saw an opportunity to market a superior version of the delicious Italian treat. Determined to serve a top quality gelato, The Gelato Fiasco features only the best local ingredients available.

“In these uncertain economic times, as young entrepreneurs, Josh and Bruno faced unique challenges while attempting to accomplish their dream and receive funding for their first store. Initially, they pursued loans from about 20 banks but were turned down by all of them. However, with persistence and determination, they were able to acquire a $225,000 SBA-backed loan which covered the majority of their startup costs.

“Their premier store, The Gelato Fiasco, opened in 2007, and has served more than 450 flavors since its start. Even with the complex challenges of trying to grow during these tough economic times, Bruno and Josh’s initial success allowed them to garner additional support from Coastal Enterprises Inc., CEI, a local community development financial institution. CEI granted this small business a $140,000 loan through a new crowdfunding initiative established by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz called “Create Jobs for USA.” The Gelato Fiasco utilized these critical funds to expand to a second location in Portland, ME, buy equipment, and hire at least 10 new employees to help staff it.

“As this small firm continues to grow, introducing more customers to their gelato treat, the shop diligently produces 25 to 35 different flavors each morning in their store. Despite the tumultuous economy, Josh and Bruno remain focused on ensuring the fun-loving experience and quality of their gelato are consistent. Their remarkable vision has become a reality as their Italian style ice cream has continued to find its way throughout Maine and New England in various coffeehouses, restaurants, and grocery freezer cases.

“Despite difficult economic times and the obstacles faced by young entrepreneurs, the dynamic duo of Bruno Tropeano and Josh Davis has clearly fostered a winning strategy. I am proud to extend my praise to Josh and Bruno and everyone at The Gelato Fiasco for their entrepreneurial spirit and successful company. I offer my best wishes for their future endeavors.”

— Post by Bobby Guerette