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How did Paciugo get started?

Paciugo was started by Ugo Ginatta, his wife Cristiana, and his son, Vincenzo. After moving from Torino, Italy to Dallas, Texas the Ginatta family opened the first Paciugo gelateria on West Lovers Lane in Dallas, Texas on September 9, 2000. It was an instant hit within the community and by the end of 2001 the Ginatta family had opened two more Paciugo stores in Dallas. Franchised operations began in August 2004.

How many Paciugo stores are in operation and where are they located?

As of June 2013, Paciugo has forty four units in operation. About half of the units are located in Texas with the balance in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, and one International location in the Cayman Islands.

In October 2010, we opened our first airport location in Cleveland, Ohio. In the spring of 2011 another location opened at La Guardia Airport in New York City and in October 2011 a third at Love Field in Dallas.

In April 2012, we opened our first University Campus location at UMass in Amherst, MA.

In May 2012, we announced our partnership with Cinemark Theaters and opened our first location in Plano, TX. Two additional locations have opened since then, Las Vegas, Nevada and Huntington Beach, California.

Please check the Paciugo website at for the latest list of locations.

When did Paciugo start franchising?

Paciugo received requests for franchising as soon as the Ginatta family opened the first gelateria in September 2000. Though all necessary documents and legal preparations were ready to start franchising in July 2001, the family decided to wait. They wanted to perfect an easy, error-proof and delicious way of making fresh gelato. Also, they needed to research the ideal real estate by experimenting with corporate stores in different types of locations, as well as perfect the training material, select the best equipment and negotiate advantageous prices. In 2004 they were finally satisfied, and began to franchise in August of that year.

Long-time customers and former Paciugo employees who had eagerly waited for the chance to open their own gelateria became franchisees. Proving their own success, many of these first franchisees have contracted to open more stores – some, more than ten. For the last three years, new franchise owners have consistently bought into the franchise. Paciugo now fields franchising information requests daily.

What is the inspiration behind Paciugo Gelato?

If you’ve ever tasted fresh gelato in Italy, you’ll understand what Paciugo is creating. Every morning Italian gelato masters make their gelato using fresh, natural ingredients. It’s a staple of Italian culture that, until recently, required a trip to Italy to enjoy. Now, Paciugo is bringing this genuine Italian gelato experience to consumers outside of Europe.

What does a ‘genuine Italian gelato experience’ mean?

Following the practices of the famous Italian gelato artisans, each Paciugo gelateria makes gelato fresh by hand every morning. Only the finest, natural, wholesome ingredients are used – no preservatives or substances such as high fructose corn syrup or transfats are allowed. The result is a healthy frozen dessert, bursting with intense flavors. This unique treat is served up by expertly-trained, friendly personnel in a cheerful, contemporary store environment.

How does Paciugo create a ‘genuine Italian gelato experience’?

While apprenticing in a classic gelateria in Torino, Italy, Cristiana mastered the art of gelato-making practiced by her grandfather. The Ginattas are bringing the Paciugo concept alive in the United States by using ingredients from their own specialized Italian artisans. Since the flavors in authentic gelato are intense, the selection and quality of the ingredients are of critical importance to the gelato tasting experience. The Ginattas further their gelato authenticity by exclusively requiring specialized Italian equipment in all of their stores in order to make and display genuine Italian gelato, fresh daily.

As Paciugo expands, how does Paciugo maintain the authentic experience?

Paciugo has carefully developed an advanced system for producing and distributing its high-quality, easy-to-use ingredients to numerous locations. Implementation of this system has enabled Paciugo to expand nationally and internationally without compromising on the taste, freshness or quality of the gelato.

How does gelato differ from ice cream?

Ice cream starts with cream. By law, regular ice cream contains at least 10% butterfat and premium ice cream contains 14% -18% fat. In contrast, Paciugo gelato is made with whole milk, resulting in a frozen dessert with up to 70% less fat than ice cream. In addition to a milk-based gelato, Paciugo offers a water-based, fat-free sorbetto, a soy-based gelato, and a No Sugar Added (NSA) version of gelato. Paciugo gelato and sorbetto are made fresh daily, are smoother in texture than ice cream, and are prepared by hand in small batches for optimum taste.

How many gelato flavor choices does Paciugo offer?

Cristiana Ginatta, Paciugo’s Mastro Gelataio has created over 300 recipes. Some are traditional Italian recipes while others are inspired by other cultures and cuisines. Each gelateria serves an assortment of 32 to 40 flavors each day and many feature seasonal flavors as well.

Does Paciugo sell only gelato?

In addition to our delicious gelato, we also serve a full range of coffees, lattes, and cappuccino’s featuring the highest quality coffee blends from around the world and a unique range of “Concoctions’ which are wonderful hot and cold beverages blended with our unique gelato flavors.

Do coffee and gelato go together?

Italian tradition includes sipping coffee while savoring gelato. The Ginattas know gelato, and the Ginattas know coffee. More than 40 years ago, Ugo Ginatta owned a coffee plantation in Thika, Kenya and has brought to Paciugo that same passion for full-bodied coffee. Paciugo now offers 100% Arabica coffee blends, made with the highest-quality coffee beans, produced by local, specialized growers in Africa, Central America and East Asia. Paciugo only supports suppliers who promote fair trade and environmentally-friendly practices, ensuring that Paciugo coffee beans are grown by using traditional and sustainable methods.

Paciugo is very proud to present its premium house brand, Paciugo Gran Miscela brand coffee. It is a collection of fine coffee blends, each specially chosen and perfectly roasted to complement the sweetness of gelato. With a traditional coffee menu offering of light roast, dark roast, Vienna roast, decaf and espresso, and specialty drinks such as Affogato al Caffè (scoops of gelato drowned in espresso) and Cappuccino con Gelato (cappuccino flavored with delicious gelato instead of syrups), Paciugo Gran Miscela offers many ways to combine the best of coffee with the best gelato.

Who is Paciugo’s target market?

When introducing Paciugo to a new market, Paciugo targets discerning consumers with high expectations for quality and flavor variety in gelato. Paciugo consumers want premium, healthy and more nutritious food choices and are eager to spend time and money to search for remarkable flavors, freshness and authenticity. Demographically, they are well-educated individuals, single and married, 25-44 years of age and representing a wide range of income levels. They are important spokespeople who spread the word of Paciugo gelato to a broad range of consumers within their communities.

How does Paciugo market to consumers?

Many of our customers do the marketing for us. Paciugo gelato is so amazing that many of our customers can’t help but spread by word-of-mouth the Paciugo name to family, friends, and co-workers. We reach out to the local community about our products through event catering, a considerable number of charitable contributions, media relations and a strong web presence. As Paciugo grows, our ability to add new marketing programs expands as well.

Who would not eat Paciugo gelato?

Paciugo appeals to all consumers. People of all cultures, races, religions, ethnicities, diets and geographical locations love Paciugo gelato. Although Paciugo stores are not Kosher, Paciugo gelato key ingredients are. Paciugo gelato is perfect for vegetarians because it has no animal products other than milk. (In the very few recipes that traditionally call for it, such as Tiramisu and Cheesecake, we add small amounts of egg yolk. Please ask your server.) Paciugo gelato, being low in fat, is perfect for individuals who are lactose intolerant. Our fruit gelato (sorbets) are fat free and dairy free. Everyone likes Paciugo!

What events does Paciugo cater?

Paciugo caters a wide variety of events including wedding receptions, holiday parties, private parties, employee and tenant appreciation events, bar and bat-mitzvahs and all charitable activities. The client may either select from existing catering packages, or create their own.

What is the typical format for a Paciugo storefront?

The current Paciugo storefront format is designed to enhance the customer experience by engaging the five senses. The atmosphere projects a relaxing and welcoming feeling through the use of comfortable seating, soft lighting, modern Italian background music, a pleasant aroma, and the chic, transparent, and well-lit gelato display cases. The kiosk format is useful for co-locating in shared complexes such as malls, arenas, or airports and includes a subset of the features found in the storefront style.

How is Paciugo connected to the community?

Every year, Paciugo Corporate Headquarters makes over forty major donations for a variety of charitable fundraisers. Additionally, our franchisees donate Paciugo products and time for local fundraising, in efforts to give back to their own communities.