How two Michelin-starred chefs founded a thriving gelato brand by creating a frozen treat that can be enjoyed all year round

  • The owner of a ice the company discussed year-round demand for its frozen products dessert.
  • Sam Newman told Insider that before the pandemic, December was the best month for Hackney Gelato.

One of the owners of a London-based gelato company Hackney Ice says her frozen desserts are gaining fans in all seasons, not just summer.

In an interview with Insider, Sam Newman said it was all about creating a product that can be enjoyed rain or shine.

According to Newman, Hackney Gelato is more of a dessert than a ice and which distinguishes the brand from its competitors. “The typical British style of ice cream is light and cold,” compared to Hackney Gelato’s products, which are more of an indulgence, he said.

Newman said the UK lacked top-quality ice cream, and because of his Italian heritage and co-founder Enrico Pavoncelli, the two were able to spot a gap in the market.

The couple, who founded the company in 2015, first met as chefs working at starred London restaurant Locanda Locatelli. After months of discussions, trips to Sicily and meetings with gelato masters, Newman said the idea of ​​creating a premium gelato brand was born.

The brown bread and marmalade flavor of Hackney Gelato is made exclusively for London’s Michelin-starred restaurant Brat.Hackney Ice

“We want to push consumers to understand that this is an indulgence that they can afford all year round. It’s obviously if the weather is nice in the park, but it’s also fantastic if you watch Netflix in mid-November,” Newman added. .

Summer is a busy month for Hackney Gelato, Newman said, but before the pandemic, December was its best month of the year.

Hackney Gelato operates as a reseller, supplying its carefully crafted product to restaurants, convenience stores, various UK-based food delivery services like Gorillas and Ocado, and supermarkets like Tesco and Waitrose.

Newman said his company had a strong restaurant presence before COVID due to Christmas dinners and concessions during the holiday season where they served curated Christmas treats like mince pie flavored gelato. “It’s not like he was completely dead for six months,” Newman continued.

How two Michelin-starred chefs founded a thriving gelato brand by creating a frozen treat that can be enjoyed all year round
Mince Pie ice cream flavor from Hackney Gelato.Hackney Ice

The decision to move the business to retail, however, has been an advantage during the pandemic. Indeed, the hospitality sector has been hit hard due to fewer people in restaurants following the closures. “It gave us another way to reach the consumer despite restaurants being closed,” Newman said.

With consumers staying home more often due to the pandemic, it’s affected how people order, Newman said. “People can now get their dessert anytime of the day, in 10-15 minutes online, and that’s something we’ve been careful to jump into and have the right product for.”

As two acclaimed chefs, Newman said he and Pavoncelli ensure their gelato product is of the highest quality. “We’ve always used the best possible ingredients and traditional Italian techniques to create something incredibly rich, creamy and great to eat,” Newman said.

Freshness is also an integral part of the brand. “We use fresh fruit, fresh milk, fresh cream. Everything is made from scratch in our kitchens,” Newman added. This plays a big role in the flavor and texture of the ice cream.

Regarding his future plans, Newman said he also hoped to expand the business to international markets, particularly the Middle East, due to his appreciation of British products, among other reasons.


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