How to open a gelato shop in Poland


Poland is one of the Eastern European countries to have shown most openness and interest towards Italian culinary traditions, in particular towards the world of hand-crafted gelato. But how can this interest be channelled into opening a gelato parlour in Poland? Here are some general guidelines.

In recent years, Poland has seen increasing interest in the world of hand-crafted gelato; today there are around 2,000 gelato parlours owned by about 1,500 gelato makers. It may be a rather small market compared to Italy’s, but it is of considerable interest to those looking to export gelato culture, pursuing high quality standards and refined ingredients. The peculiarities of the Polish market can be summed up in two key factors, i.e. seasonality and flavours.

The summer season, the ideal time for gelato, is very short in Poland, while winters are long and cold which affects the whole process, from production all the way through to sale.

In terms of flavours, an Italian gelateria will on average have 14 wells, while in Poland the number is half that, with just 6-8 flavours.

These flavours also reflect local production and traditions. For example, the most successful fruit flavours are red fruits and wild berries, as Poland is one of the world’s leading producers, or else vanilla, which reminds Poles of their traditional local cuisine, while ripples are also very popular. It should be pointed out that soft-serve gelato machines are a big hit in many businesses, from gelato parlours to bar-patisseries: in total, there are about 10,000. There is plenty of interest in this type of gelato: a soft, creamy, light gelato that requires relatively little investment (also given the favourable euro/złoty exchange rate) and a simpler production process.

But what could and should be the procedure be like to open a gelato parlour in a country like Poland?

First of all, let’s consider what kind of business you want to open – a specialized gelato parlour or a gelato café? Offering hand-crafted gelato together with other products can help top prolong the sales season or even sell during the long winter. This last option is well suited to Poland, where people are used to sitting down comfortably even just to drink a coffee, and where practicable even when the weather is cold, gelato expands the range of products on offer. Various types of product for different times of day can help to sell gelato on a year-round basis. This type of outlet of course guarantees a higher turnover but obviously requires various licenses to be purchased, more space and well-trained staff for different functions, equipment and, often, tables and chairs.

Going back to choosing location, make sure to open up somewhere inside the city. The ideal would be a pedestrian area, where traffic is limited and it is easier to stop to enjoy your cone or tub. Other ideal areas are tourist towns and shopping centres.

It is worth looking into the various bureaucratic steps that need to be taken: several regulations govern the structure of the premises, in addition to the licences and permits needed to open premises, though the bureaucracy involved in starting a business seems much simpler than in other countries. Another important decision that needs to be taken regards the purchase of gelato-making machinery and equipment and basic ingredients: for this and all aspects of the bureaucratic process, the advice and support of Italian companies operating in the sector, some of whom even work abroad, is essential. Furthermore, before opening premises to the public, they have to be approved by a local health inspector who will make sure that they are fit for the purpose.

Also, never forget how important staff training is: knowing how to make a top-quality gelato is essential for gaining the visibility and recognition that guarantee lasting success over time. Again, it is useful to consult the websites of the main gelato schools in Italy, to learn more about the art of gelato-making and get updates on all the news in the sector.

All this is no doubt connected with your ability to communicate the unique nature of your product and your business through the best channels of communication and to follow good marketing practices.

If you need any more information on how to open up a gelato shop in Poland or in any other countries, please write to us at .

We will be happy to help you with your choice and to help you get in touch with the best companies in the sector.

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