The Australian:

If brothers Domenico and Marco Lopresti have their way, there will be a Gelatissimo near you soon where you can sample every type of gelato, including pistachio, guava and tiramisu.

Gelato is something the brothers know a thing or two about.

They are the founders of Gelatissimo, a franchised chain of stores scattered across Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.

“Gelato runs in our veins,” says Sydney-based Marco. “We have cousins in Calabria who have been making it for generations and are happy to pass on some of their secrets. Our father set up a gelato store here. We grew up with gelato, it was both our business and our lives.”

Marco Lopresti says the 30-store Italian gelato chain is on track to meet robust growth targets, including per-store revenue growth of 5 per cent a year. The chain plans to open four new stores a year locally as well as internationally. Each store processes at least 100,000 litres of product a year, and volumes are growing.

Franchise fees, based on a weekly fixed fee and a 3 per cent royalty on turnover, are increasing “strongly”.

“The economic downturn has not affected our business at all. In fact, we are getting more franchise inquiries than ever. We have a gross margin that makes our competitors green with envy,” Marco Lopresti says.

Following in their father’s footsteps as traditional artisan gelato makers, the brothers have designed the stores to capture the Italian “experience”, with each serving authentic Italian gelato and setting the scene with Italian music and photographs.

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