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You screamed for ice cream? It’s rolling in.

Lena Price May 29, 2013 10
gelati truck 1

Jared Galloway is managing Gelati Celesti’s new food truck operation. (Photos by Lena Price)

A West End ice cream maker is hitting the road.

Gelati Celesti started operating an ice cream truck last week. Owner Steve Rosser said the truck will make regular appearances at summer festivals, office parks and food truck courts.

“Originally this was going to be another way for us to get our brand out there. But it’s turning into a new revenue stream – almost like a third, mobile store,” Rosser said.

The Gelati Celesti truck has been making the rounds since last week, and Rosser said it’s selling an average of 15 to 20 gallons per event – feeding 125 to 250 customers in three hours.

Prices range from $3.50 to $5.50 per cup.

During the peak summer season, the company makes about 150 gallons a day at its production facility off Dabney Road.

gelati truck 2The truck has been in the works since December, and Rosser said the business invested about $65,000 to get it up and running. East Coast Custom Coaches, a Northern Virginia firm that specializes in food truck design, built the 6-by-12-foot truck.

To help handle the new business, Rosser said he plans to bring on two new employees. The truck will serve a rotating menu of eight Gelati Celesti flavors.

The 29-year-old ice cream shop has two storefronts – one on West Broad Street and a second in the Stony Point Shopping Center that opened last May. The company’s wholesale business also supplies more than a dozen local restaurants, including Edo’s Squid, Lemaire, Millie’s Diner and Boyer’s Ice Cream & Coffee.

Rosser said adding a food truck is another way for the company to test the market for future expansion.

“We’ve always known this is a brand with a lot of potential for growth,” Rosser said. “But because it’s a handmade product, we want to control that growth so we aren’t sacrificing quality.”

Rosser said the company is eyeing a few other locations for additional stores, including Brandermill, Mechanicsville and east Richmond. In the next three to four years, he said, he’d like to expand the business outside of Central Virginia.

He said Richmond’s recent influx of frozen yogurt franchises hasn’t eaten into Gelati Celesti’s sales.

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10 Comments »

  1. Jared Galloway May 29, 2013 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Thanks for the write up, Lena! Come see our truck in action!
    Wednesday 29 @ All Saints Church 530-830 w/ RVA Street Foodies
    Thursday 30 @ Blanchards Coffee 1130-130 w/ MagnaCartaRVA
    Friday 31 @ Glen Forest Office Park (Plaza 2) 1130-2
    Saturday 1 @ Westover Hills Elementary Carnival

  2. Rique Flato May 29, 2013 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Glad to hear!!! The best icecream in RVA !!!

  3. Marty Conn May 29, 2013 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Forget frozen yogurt!

    This is the real stuff — best ice cream in town!

  4. Donna May 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Hurry, please come to Chesterfield / Brandermill QUICKLY :)

  5. Christina Darden May 30, 2013 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Gelati Celesti is by far the best ice cream around. I enjoy it in Richmond and at a little ice cream shop, Chitterchats, on the river in Reedville. Chocolate Decadence is so amazing that I just can’t try something else. Thank you for expanding to the food truck. I experienced the inaugural visit to All Saints Church last week. YUM!

  6. james May 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Just Ask and the Choc. Peanut Butter is my fav! We love Gelati. It’s the best Ice Cream in Richmond by far.

  7. Drew May 31, 2013 at 7:37 am - Reply

    Does East Richmond mean Shockoe Bottom? We desperately lack a dessert shop in the area.

  8. Karen Haynes May 31, 2013 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Steve….what a great article! Congratulations on your success :-)

  9. Bob Murphy May 31, 2013 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Steve, great article, fitting for such great ice cream! Congratulations on the new truck and continued success!

  10. Debbie June 5, 2013 at 8:07 am - Reply

    Pleeeeaase come to Mechanicsville!
    You have no idea how much publicity we’ve given your west end location! Love the ice cream!!!

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