Made in 417 Land
Monday, August 26, 2013 at 5:05 PM
Thanks to 417 for the great article in the July 2013 issues "Made in 417 Land"
Benissimo! Gelato and Sorbet
540 W. McDaniel St., Springfield
For a business that started a little more than a year ago, thanks to owner Frank Bailey’s desire to make delicious gelato, Benissimo! Gelato and Sorbet has hit the ground running. The company renovated a worn down brick building in downtown Springfield in January 2012, and by May 2, 2012, Benissimo had made its first sale. The goal, says Vicki Ables, president and head of operations, was to start small.
Once the building was operational and the Italian gelato machines were moved in, Ables hit the streets looking for restaurants to partner with. “Bambinos was our first customer,” she says. “He took a chance on us, and it was awesome.” From there, Benissimo moved into Avanzare Italian Dining, DiGiacinto Italian Restaurant, Cravin Pizza, Arris’ Pizza and Springfield Brewing Company, getting its fresh and fabulous flavors onto as many menus as possible. Eventually, Benissimo landed some prime real estate at local grocery stores including MaMa Jean’s Natural Market, Price Cutter, Harter House, Home Grown Food and Hy-Vee.
As the business has grown, so has the staff, which is now up to eight employees and counting. With business steadily building, the Benissimo gelatos and sorbets are still hand-pinted and the list of seasonal and year-round flavors call for 60 to 100 gallons of milk each week. Currently, Benissimo keeps its retail vendors stocked with five year-round flavors including: Cocoloco, cherry chip, mint chip, salted caramel and lemon sorbet. Using as many local and fresh ingredients as possible, the seasonal flavor possibilities are endless. And the help and support Benissimo receives from local grocers is given right back, since Benissimo tries as often as possible to buy fresh ingredients like peaches, mint, lemons and more from the same grocers who carry its products. “We try to share the wealth,” says Ables. “We are so very grateful for the people who have been here to help us so we want to make sure we give back to the community.” What’s next for this locally rooted Gelato factory? Who knows, but there is talk of expanding north and covering the rest of Missouri.
Buy It Benissimo! Gelato and Sorbet is available at MaMa Jean’s Natural Market, Hy-Vee, Price Cutter, Harter House, Home Grown Food and at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks. Prices vary by store.