Jeff Sinelli, founder of Which Wich and Genghis Grill, is adding an established gelato franchise to his portfolio. Sinelli Concepts International announced August 6 it is taking ownership of nearly 20-year-old Paciugo, a 32-unit brand with locations across 10 states.

“Paciugo has established a solid reputation for quality and has delighted families for almost two decades. Our team is looking forward to sharing the Paciugo experience in even more markets in the years ahead,” Sinelli said in a statement. “I am proud of my roots here in Dallas and excited to invest in growing this Dallas-based company and supporting the men and women who make up the Paciugo system.”

Paciugo, founded in 2000, claims to be the largest artisanal gelato chain in the U.S. The concept is based on a secret family gelato recipe and the Italian phrase translates to “messy concoction.” The company said it’s looking to add single- and multi-unit franchise operators to its growing system, with locations ranging from 120 to 1,400 square feet. Paciugo said it sold more than 3.5 million cups and 75,00 take-home packs in 2017.

“With Paciugo, we are giving our guests the chance to experience the incomparable flavor of authentic Italian gelato in a variety of ways that make it the perfect treat to enjoy with family, friends or as a treat for yourself either in our cafes, on the go or to enjoy at home,” added Sinelli.

The gelato is natural and made by hand daily, incorporating fresh fruits and Italian chocolates for more than 400 gelato flavor combinations. There are additional products as well, such as gelato pops, ice cream sandwiches, macarons, smoothies, shakes, coffee, pastries, and more. Catering is also part of the concept’s business.

Sinelli Concepts said it would continue to own and operate Which Wich independently following the deal.

The Dallas-based company operates more than 500 restaurants and business across the U.S. and more than a dozen countries. Sinelli launched Genghis Grill in 1997, Which Wich in 2003, Burguesa Burger in 2007, and acquired and sold Submarina of California in 2017.

Desserts, Story, Paciugo