There is no gain in business without a little pain. My family knows this all too well after having spent over a century building gelato businesses in Italy and Germany, and I now continue this lesson as I help the Rabboni and PreGel legacy continue to plant roots in North and South America. But let me start from the beginning.
At the turn of the 20th Century my great grandparents had a vision to make their gelato living for one simple reason – to make people smile. This dream started with gelato carts. With electricity just making its way into the world at that time, gelato was still made by hand with salt, ice and a hand crank machine. This, combined with the long hours scouring Italian cities to build clientele and recognition, translated to long, hard hours each and every day.
Upon winning the Italian market and setting up successful carts, my family set their sights on a new market to expand their dream further. After WWI, the Germany economy was strong and being so close in the northern Italy mountains, my family was smart to embark on this journey. But with every new market there are barriers and entry was not easy. With the onset of another war, followed by many years of rebuilding, the journey in Germany was a long one.
Perseverance however triumphed and Germany is now the second largest market in the world for gelato, after Italy of course. My family continues to run successful gelaterias, which ingrained in me a love and passion for the delicious dessert.
Since 2002 we have been expanding the PreGel name into the North and South American markets and while the technology has advanced, the struggles are still the same. We are facing the obstacles of entering new markets, learning with every step what works and what absolutely does not, celebrating small triumphs and building upon each lesson we learn. The sleepless nights are real, but the successes of our clients and smiles on the faces of consumers are worth it. If starting a business and maintaining it were easy, we’d all be successful, but that is just not the case.
So keeping going, one scoop at time.