New facility centralizes the company’s departments for more efficient business model.
PreGel has always been a hub of innovation and research. So when the opportunity rose for the company’s U.S. division, PreGel AMERICA, to build a new state-of-the-art facility that would centralize its administrative offices, warehouse, Professional Training Center, and research and development all in one location, there was no question this should be the next step.
The facility, located a half-hour northeast of Charlotte, NC, is truly a testament to PreGel AMERICA’s commitment to solidifying its presence and leadership in the North American specialty desserts market. The new facility showcases PreGel’s attention to details, technology and functionality. The strategic design promotes communication between departments, allowing customer service and satisfaction to be at the forefront of all operations. Highlights of the new facility include:
- Administrative Offices: The new offices offer a sleek and modern European design that clearly reflects the company’s Italian heritage. With an expanded customer service department, new space for accounting offices, rooms for conferences and meetings, as well as specialized areas for Human Resources and general management, the offices provide plenty of space and proper accommodations to allow for maximum efficiency in all departments – fulfilling the current and future needs of the company.
- Training Center: The state-ofthe- art training center confirms PreGel’s unwavering dedication to instruction and demonstration, and is sure to inspire all who are fortunate enough to visit. For current and potential customers interested in the training programs, the new facility offers introductory, advanced, master and special interest classes. The training kitchens and amenities encourage practice and refinement of a wide array of skills, and participants can look forward to special classes with guest instructors and renowned chefs. The center is a flexible space that can be utilized as one large training area or can be divided into two separate rooms. PreGel’s instructive approach provides both theory as well as hands-on learning. The new training area supports this approach by providing space for lectures in addition to technical training stations. The equipment featured in the facility is certainly a highlight – a full spectrum of gelato batch freezers, hot process machines, pastry ovens and display cases represents a wide array of the newest and best equipment in the industry.
- Research and Development: Fitting with the company’s focus on continuous development and product perfection, a portion of PreGel’s new building is designated for innovation. The research and development labs provide a solid foundation for future expansion.
- La Gelateria: Prominently located at the heart of the facility, PreGel is creating a fully functional model of an ideal gelateria in its next stage of construction. By providing a variety of offerings including fresh gelato and sorbetto, specialty espresso and coffee drinks, frozen yogurt, newly developed frozen beverages and various traditional Italian pastries, the gelateria will demonstrate the extensive and imaginative possibilities that exist in creating one’s own establishment. Blending modern technology with classical techniques, the gelateria is the ultimate example of a retail reality that meets the requests of the American market. The indoor/outdoor café-style seating will provide a comfortable, open-air feeling to the area. Visitors are sure to be met with unmatched service and inspiration for new and existing businesses.
- Warehouse: For the first time in its history, PreGel AMERICA will house offices and warehouse space under the same roof. This merging of operations is sure to increase effectiveness and create cohesiveness between all company departments. Ample racking and storage space, in conjunction with the latest technology in stock systems and forklift operations, have created a facility designed for maximum efficiency and expedited distribution. The PreGel AMERICA warehouse also serves as the distribution center for its Canada and Mexico subsidiaries.
- Production: The final component of the new building is the production plant. Currently all products continue to be manufactured by PreGel Italy; however, by the end of 2008 PreGel AMERICA will initiate manufacturing for the first time outside of Italy. Raw ingredients will continue to be sourced from a variety of areas – ensuring that
all products will remain consistent in nature and quality. This endeavor will further strengthen PreGel’s dedication to resourceful and prompt service in the North American market by rendering the products easily accessible.
Housing all of the departments under one roof is PreGel’s answer to creating an even more efficient business model. The larger space has also allowed the company to increase staffing to support the growing needs of the company’s customers.
“Our new facility is a direct reflection of PreGel AMERICA’s commitment to its customers. Our products, our training and our service all go hand-in-hand, and now that we have the ability to run our business from one central location, it will allow us to become an even more efficient business,” said Marco Casol, president and CEO of PreGel AMERICA.
Casol chose North Carolina as the location for PreGel AMERICA when he came from Italy in 2002. Centrally located on the east coast, North Carolina offers a time difference of only six hours from Italy, where PreGel’s parent company resides. Casol also recognized the growing potential of North Carolina and its surrounding areas. To meet the increasing demand for gelato, sorbetto and frozen yogurt in the U.S., PreGel AMERICA was in need of a comprehensive space. The answer was the International Business Park in Concord, NC. Concord is a developing city 20 miles outside of Charlotte, offering easy access to major routes and an affordable cost of living. Concord is also well known as the home of NASCAR’s Lowe’s International Speedway.
“While it is important for us to maintain our relationships with Europe, it is equally important to create a synergy between our company’s culture and this country by cultivating the relationships with those around us,” said Casol. “With the completion of the new facility, we are extremely excited to be a part of the International Business Park at Concord and hope to gather strength from the community, and in return provide support for this upcoming area.”
The new home of PreGel AMERICA further showcases the company’s passion for the specialty dessert industry – an industry that is projected to continue to have tremendous growth for years to come.