At Gelatissimo we have a passion and commitment to creating premium gelato without compromise.
Our story began with Franco Lopresti, a southern Italian who migrated to Australia in the 1950s who, like so many immigrants at the time, arrived with nothing but raw ambition, a spirit of entrepreneurship and a willingness to work hard in order to build a better life.
Franco, together with his family, eventually established himself as a fruiterer and opened what was to become an iconic fruit shop in the north shore of Sydney and ultimately, many years later, the site of his first gelateria.
After many years of family ownership and operation, the fruit shop was sold in the 1970s and Franco tried his hand at many other businesses with varying degrees of success. However, Franco could not shrug off his passion for food retailing and in the late 1980s embarked on what was then an ambitious and unusual undertaking: to open an authentic Italian trattoria and gelateria using a fitout fully imported from Italy. Fittingly, what was to become known as Sydney’s famed “Bravo Trattoria” was built within the same walls that housed the family fruit shop established some 30 years earlier.
Given his history as a family business operator, it was therefore not unexpected that Franco’s son Domenico joined the business too. With the help of his family, Bravo Trattoria proved to be a huge success and before long the streets of Crows Nest were filled with people enjoying the delicious gelato, made fresh on the premises using traditional family recipes.
Bravo Trattoria was sold in 1994 but given the popularity of the gelato, Franco came up with the idea for supplying gelato in bulk to restaurants and cafes around Sydney. The Bravo Gelato wholesale business was born. Run by Domenico Lopresti, under the guidance of Franco, the business steadily grew. Franco’s other son Marco joined the business in 2000, and with their shared vision and complementary skills, the business flourished. Today, Bravo Gelato is Australia’s leading manufacturer and supplier of premium gelato.
Given the increasing popularity of their wholesale product, their awareness of the growing demand for all things Italian and inspired by the display methods of Florentine gelaterias, an opportunity to share the joy of fresh gelato with consumers in the retail market emerged, and after much research and development, the first Gelatissimo gelateria was born in Sydney in September 2002.
With its mounds of luscious gelato, the beautiful gelateria was an immediate success and a number of other outlets quickly followed. Initially the gelaterias were company owned, but the business commenced franchising in 2004.
Since then, Gelatissimo has grown to be one of the largest gelato franchises in the world, established throughout South East Asia, the Middle East and even in the birthplace of gelato itself, Italy, something Franco could scarcely have dreamt of all those years ago.