2.0, and creating an adult concept that’s kid friendly
EVP and co-founder of Sinelli Concepts, Courtney Sinelli, says they immediately realized Paciugo’s potential to be “so much more than gelato.” This year, the company is renovating the corporate Dallas location to debut a next-generation version of Paciugo that could redefine how it grows and penetrates markets nationwide.
They applied for a liquor license and expect to add wine and perhaps Champagne. The goal being a more authentic, European café capable of serving multiple occasions. Also, the corporate Paciugo will dive deeper into coffee drinks as it looks to become an all-day destination.
Another feature Sinelli is excited about: an elevated, alcohol-infused line of gelato flavors. In December, the company’s VP of R&D and production, Diego Comparin, known internally as the “mad scientist of gelato,” created a Peach Bellini Sorbet that paired well with Prosecco and other sparkling wines. But these new options would actually have alcohol in them. Sinelli says the name is still being decided, but an “after-dark” line of gelatos speaks to a broader image.
“It seemed like there was just huge potential to take this to another level,” she says. “That was definitely an attractive part of Paciugo before we ever approached [buying it]. We were looking at the opportunity.”
A bigger emphasis on coffee is a natural step, Cook adds. The company doesn’t need to ask franchisees to bring in crates of new equipment. And having a gelato chain that presents a “third-place” vibe, like Starbucks, where people sit around as though its a sidewalk café in Europe, is something the marketplace lacks, he says. “It’s a niche right now where there isn’t anything else out there like this,” Cook says. “I think we can get on the front end right now and do something nobody else is doing—on a large scale with our existing footprint.”
“We like to say it’s an adult concept, but kid friendly.”
Sinelli envisions a place where people can go after dinner, and you’re not just bringing your children to get gelato. “You can also have a glass of wine and enjoy something yourself,” she says.