Shopping Center Business

MAY 2016

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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Page 224 of 358

PACIUGO GELATO 220 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2016 I t is not uncommon for restaurant en- trepreneurs to have a passion for their particular cuisine. The ingredients, the cooking methods, the crafting of the final product and the presentation all play into their love for what they do. For father and son Ugo and Vincent Ginatta, gelato is the passion. The duo's passion has them to not only create the first national gelato chain, but also a company that has an incredibly strong commitment to quality and con- sistency, starting with the ingredients and ending with the store experience. The roots of Paciugo Gelato go back to the 1960s, when Ugo Ginatta operated a coffee farm in East Africa. He fell in love with the food business. He later created a successful high tech business, but always planned to return to food. After selling his IT business in 1999 in his native Italy, Ugo Ginatta moved to Dallas and set his mind to launching a gelato business. In 2000, the company opened its first loca- tion on Lovers Lane in Dallas. The com- pany knew it wanted to keep control of its products early on, so in 2002 it built a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. "From the start, we knew our product would be our differentiator," says Vincent Ginatta, who serves as president of parent company Paciugo Management. "If we had the highest quality product, we knew consumers would realize that. For us, that means blending the artisanal process with scale and quality." Today, the company has 53 locations in shopping centers, airports, college cam- puses and on-street locations. Paciugo Gelato operates in-line locations of about 1,500 square feet, and more recently has been opening a kiosk-style location that is about 150 to 300 square feet. The compa- ny opened its first mall location in 2006 at Northpark in Dallas. Throughout the past 10 years, the company opened locations throughout Dallas, and later expanded via franchise groups to the West Coast and East to Florida, Chicago and the North- east. The company now has locations in iconic centers like Mall of America near Minneapolis and Harborplace in Baltimore. Paciugo has continued to grow with a mix of corporate and franchise locations. It currently operates eight corporate lo- cations, and more than 30 franchise lo- cations. In 2016, the company will open three corporate locations — including one in Houston — and 10 to 15 franchise lo- cations. In addition to its own locations, Paciugo also supplies gelato to other re- tailers. It is found in premium Cinemark theaters, for example. The company is also beginning to launch its product in grocery stores, selling Paciugo Gelato by the pint. "Our aim is to have our product en- joyed in many different venues and for many different purchasing occasions," says Vincent Ginatta. The company has continued to adjust its store design and prototype, using its original Lovers Lane location as a labora- tory. That location recently helped launch the company's coffee drinks. It's also be- Paciugo's Passion A passion for gelato creates a retail business that thrives in high traffc locations. Randall Shearin Paciugo Gelato has a number of prototypes. Pictured is an inline location at Grapevine Mills near Dallas.

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