Australia’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop Nets Place in Houston on US Debut


One of Australia’s favorite ice cream shops will soon be shopping in Houston. Gelatissimo will debut in the United States with an outpost at Baybrook Mall this month with a grand opening to follow in early 2022.

Established in Sydney in 2002, Gelatissimo grew to 40 stores across Australia and 25 more in countries like the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and India. Houston will be the company’s first U.S. location with a Hawaiian outpost slated to debut next year.

The flavors are made in-house at each location with no artificial colors or flavors, according to a press release. The range includes iconic flavors such as Chunky New York Cheesecake and Wicked Double Choc Brownie, as well as vegan and reduced sugar options. For Houston, the company created a Bourbon Caramel et Noix de Pecan made from bourbon from the local Yellow Rose distillery.

Franchisees Phanary Hok and Simon Stankevicius will be responsible for presenting Gelatissimo to Houstonians. Hok has experience in the food industry as the operator of four Shipley Do-nuts franchises. Trips to Europe convinced the couple that Houston could use more gelato, and tasting Gelatissimo proved its merits.

“I fell in love with the texture, the flavor and the way it looked,” Hok said in a statement. “You could taste the real ingredients; the strawberry really tasted like strawberry. We know Houstonians will fall in love with the ice cream like we did.”

The Inner Loop is packed with ice cream options like Sweet Cup, Dolce Neve, and Amorino, but the suburbs are mostly home to ice cream parlors. Compared to ice cream, ice cream tends to have a creamier texture and lower fat content than its frozen cousin. Preferring one over the other is a matter of taste, of course, which should help Gelatissimo attract fans who want to sample its products.

“We believe the time has come to truly intensify our international presence and consolidate our brand on the global stage, starting with Houston,” said Gelatissimo CEO Filipe Barbosa. “With Phanary Hok and Simon Stankevicius at the helm, we work with passionate franchise partners who truly share our values.


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