Business Focus: Gelato for your Cafe?

Wednesday, 14 October, 2020

Coffee. Pizza. Ice Cream. Three points of the golden triangle that make up a profitable food service business. And we could all use a little extra money coming through our businesses during this crazy time.

Many of the stories we’ve heard through C-19 have been that coffee has kept businesses afloat. The Roasting of coffee was deemed an essential service early on and we published a list that grew daily over April and May 2020 of places that had re-opened and were supplying coffee to local businesses. Pizza was another - because deliveries of pizza is a firmly established practise and base ingredients are easy to find and cost efficient.

But Ice Cream? We learned a thing or two about ice cream recently, thanks to one of the Dons of coffee… Mr Alessandro Morrico, who needs no introduction to most in this industry, but ice cream? Who knew? Alessandro introduced us to the ICE TEAM, who gave Coffee Magazine a full tour of their facility, showed us how to make soft serve, gelato and sorbet (and we got to eat it too!).

Ridhaa Abrahams and the ICE Team are exclusive suppliers in SA of some of the world’s best brands when it comes to all things icy and delicious.

“In 2018 we evolved into importers and distributors of Top quality Italian Gelato  production equipment and ingredients, with excellence in aftersales service and support still at our core.” Says Ridhaa. “Ice cream is one of the products that can really help food retailers during this tough time, because we have made it so easy, and the mark-ups are over 500% per portion”

We witnessed Ridhaa and his team take some of the Pregel products, measure them into a container, stick them in the machine and 8 minutes later, out comes a mango sorbet, the likes of which we have never tasted before. Creamy, but totally vegan and absolutely delicious. The same with the soft serve - but we’re talking beautifully smooth, incredibly textured, rich soft serve, not the ones we’re used to buying on the beachfront promenade which are typically watery, melt in a few seconds and lack authentic flavour. This is a whole new ball game!  Finally, we were shown the gelato (Mel did a happy dance right there in the showroom) and this time it was pistachio, which transported us straight back to Milan eating pistachio gelato from a real Gelateria! It was divine!

Ridhaa reckons a machine can set you back as little as R120 000 and they have all of the Pregel products and recipes to go with them. Training is minimal before you can literally start serving top quality ice cream products,  meaning business owners can make their money back very quickly. They're also running a great special for counter top units, specifically designed for the cafe and restaurant market, where gelato is never going to be the focus, but can be a great value-add to the business.

Summer is coming folks… people are gonna want ice cream! And just imagine the affogatos!!!

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