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Melbourne, Australia

A change of direction leads best friends to Gelatissimo

An Australian Franchisee Case Study


Best friends Joe Diaz and Mario Fontana share a lifelong passion for Alfa Romeo cars, so it’s not surprising that the two mechanics were drawn to the Gelatissimo spirit of “la dolce vita” when they decided to change direction and buy a business.

However, the friends’ decision to purchase a Gelatissimo franchise was not just based on an emotional connection to Italy, but also on their careful research.

“We wanted to invest in a franchise business because it offers many benefits,” says Mario. “These include training, support, a proven product, a familiar brand and networking opportunities.”

Joe and Mario visited a range of franchise outlets, spoke to franchisees and studied many of the business models on offer before deciding that Gelatissimo was the most attractive franchise opportunity. They loved the gelato “kit” production system that enables each gelateria to create luscious artisan gelato in store on a daily basis. They also believed that the Italian experience Gelatissimo offers is aligned to the Italian community, and has an authentic sense of style and fun.

Mario and Joe are confident that Balmain’s eclectic mix of shops and dining establishments make it a perfect location for their new gelateria. Both Joe and Mario will be hands-on in the business and Joe’s wife, Mingkwam, will support them by combining shifts at the gelateria with caring for the Diaz’s four and a half year old son, Leonardo.

“People come to motor mechanics because they have a problem that needs fixing, and this usually makes them unhappy,” says Joe. “But with Gelatissimo, they come because they want to. Eating our delicious gelato makes people happy and they enjoy the experience.”

Mario is equally excited about the opening of the gelateria. He says, “I am confident that our research into franchising has produced the right fit for us, and I am looking forward to this exciting new career.”

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