Giapo 2.0

A while back I blogged about Giapo, the Queen Street, Auckland gelateria run by the amazing Gianpaolo Grazioi.

The title of that blog post was “It’s about the Gelato, not the brand“, and, well, it seems that these days it is indeed about the Gelato.

The post led to a series of comments, and I met Gianpaolo and have had many a tasty gelato moment and entertaining conversation since. The business was successful from the start and is increasingly successful.

While the initial rhetoric was about the brand, Giapo is increasingly and relentlessly focused on the quality of the product.

It shows. The gelato is significantly better to me than it was at at launch, and than it was even 12 months ago. It’s a classic continuous improvement case study, and a blog post today from Giapo explains some of the reasons why, starting with ingredients:

“It took us a while to understand where to go and what to do to be better and better….
..we decided to start making our own organic chocolate, white and black, instead of buying standard ones made with cheap ingredients and far away from us…
….Then we bought an oven and we started baking our own cookies, brownies, cakes, pavlovas, meringues, ladies fingers, short breads, and every single other baked product that we use to garnish our ices… instead of buying standards products at the bakery that we could not change or improve.

….we now make our own jams and toppings so we can have it all natural, sourer, less sweet and denser.

We also make our own cheeses, and the butter used in our own baking, all organic.

We currently make sour cream, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, ricotta and we inoculate our own yoghurt with the lactobacillus bulgaris and acidophilus with pro and prebiotic, so we can make it denser and fresh everyday.

Yes, pretty much all the ingredients made in store are also organic because organic are the raw materials used.

We have optioned to buy 12 organic jerseys cows….
We have bought 120 hens…..

The product can only be as good as the raw ingredients, by driving to the source Giapo is making sure its gelato is the best. It’s reminiscent of the attention to detail shown in the excellent

But that’s not all – the quest to improve goes into the kitchen as well:

Food Pairing is a big thing for us, we are always looking for new combinations, we follow intuition and hints on a molecular level. We are experimenting with all sorts of ingredients and products from meat to fish, from flowers to tobacco and many other types of spices and fruits and vegetables that grow in New Zealand. We turned our kitchen in a lab, where the most amazing things can happen.

I’ve had Salmon Chocolate gelato there – and it tasted exactly as it says on the label. It’s not something you want to put into a cone, but certainly an entertaining addition to a savoury course at a dinner. Restaurants should be queuing up at Giapo’s door to commission their own flavours. Should be – but I suspect they are not yet.

Gianpaolo is formally studying the science behind the food, his boundless energy managing to juggle a life centered around gelato and a young family.

He takes that learning into the kitchen in a natural way:

Although we love science and we do geek out in the kitchen, our ice creams is not loaded with chemicals or any junk confectionery, what we do are pure unalloyed, straightforward ice creams, easily made from straight forward obtained ingredients.
Giapo is likely to be producing the most expensive and exclusive ice-cream ever created in the world and it is not doing it for profit. All the profit are currently being re invested in scientific training, research and new innovative machineries and technique to create the ice cream of tomorrow.

I’d be happier if a good chunk of profits were used to secure the financial stability of Gianpaolo and his family, so that he can continue to keep doing this. Of course by reinvesting in the business he is doing exactly that.

The store is incredibly successful. If you are in Auckland then go there – it’s that simple.

Meanwhile the gelateria that I originally unfavourably compared  Giapo to has taken a big dive in quality – and Giapo reigns supreme.

Well done so far – and the story is only really beginning.

About Lance Wiggs

@lancewiggs
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