Quality, taste, and artistry are at the core of Amorino’s gelato 

Holiday memories are often characterized by one of three things: family, sun, and gelato. Whether it’s an ice cream on the beach, a delicious dessert after a romantic meal, or a child’s first taste of the cold treat, most individuals can recall a specific moment centered around gelato.  

For those who have experienced the pleasure of Amorino, their stand-out memory is sure to be one of its luxury rose-shaped cones or gelato macarons. With an aura of chic elegance, both its stores and products are uniquely crafted to bring an Italian essence to every customer’s experience. 

“Personally, my ideal order is pistachio gelato in a medium cone – and I always add a macaron on top,” Erwan de Guichen, Director General at Amorino, tells us. “It has to be pistachio; it’s a classic flavor and one where you can truly assess the quality of the product and its ingredients. 

“The magic of our concept is truly beautiful, high-quality, and amazing tasting gelato,” he continues. “Right from the beginning, the founders decided that they would serve gelato in a rose shape, as opposed to a scoop, adding an additional layer of pleasure to the Amorino experience. It’s entirely customizable too; each petal of the flower can be a different flavor, so customers can select as many flavors as they like.”  

Flavor sensation 

However, the shape of the gelato is not Amorino’s only innovation. The business is renowned for its unusual and creative flavors, like bergamot, lime and basil, and white chocolate with black pepper and tonka. Erwan elaborates: “We’re constantly launching new flavors, even during the winter. 

“During our peak season, April to September, we launch six new flavors, one every month,” he reveals. “We have a mix of gelato and sorbets, and being the summer season, the flavors are usually centered around fruits. This year we released lychee, raspberry and rose, and we’re still perfecting our core range with new flavors like red fruits or blood orange.” 

But how exactly does Amorino envision, create, and decide on new flavors? “Well, it’s both a feeling and a trend,” says Erwan. “Our product testing consists of lots of people tasting the various new flavors. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences, so sometimes it’s difficult to reach consensus, but we’re all gelato lovers, so who better to decide on new products? 

“We embrace individuality and innovation, but always with a little bit of style and a lot of taste. So, all of our ingredients and raw materials are natural. We’re very meticulous when it comes to the quality of our ingredients, as we pride ourselves on offering a luxury, high-quality end product. We use pure whole milk, for example, as well as real vanilla and nuts from Italy to create our different flavors. 

“In recent years, we’ve extended our range of organic products, as well as introduced some vegan recipes,” he explains. “All of our sorbets are vegan, but we also have some vegan gelato flavors. As part of the food industry, we have a unique opportunity to promote products that are not only good for your body, but also good for the planet.” 

Strategic growth  

The story behind the company’s foundation is also one of uniqueness and charm. Established in 2002 by two Italian friends, Cristiano Sereni and Paolo Benassi, Amorino was created following a realization that Paris, where the friends were living at the time, had a lack of luxury Italian gelato. “Everything started from two friends who had recently moved to Paris,” Erwan confirms. “They wanted to offer the best tastes of Italy to customers around the world. 

“Initially, the store’s only product offering was gelato, but we have since developed and upgraded the concept by diversifying into new product lines,” he details. “We now do traditional Italian hot chocolate, as well as crepes, waffles, and milkshakes. We’ve recently launched our brioche al gelato product too, which is a traditional Sicilian brioche, warmed slightly and filled with the customer’s chosen gelato.” 

Additionally, Amorino innovated its now infamous gelato macarons, which first appeared in stores in 2013. Inspired by the classic French recipe, these macarons combine pastry casing with gelato and are small enough to rest on top of the gelato. In fact, they are now synonymous with the company’s rose gelato cones.  

Having recently celebrated 20 years in business, it is evident that the company’s innovations have led to continuous success. “We’ve currently got 220 functioning stores and franchises, which we’re hoping to increase to 250 by the end of 2023,” Erwan says. “We now have an established presence in 18 countries, including Spain, the US, and now the Middle East, where we’re opening stores in Egypt, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia over the coming months.” 

As the business expanded, the founders were looking for a long-term growth strategy when they stumbled across Erwan’s proposition. “I offered them a plan to accelerate without opening the shares of the company, and they invited me to join in 2020 to begin executing my plan,” he recalls.  

“I love the style, elegance, and family feel of the company. It’s rewarding to work in a small company, as your efforts and ideas have more of an impact. I really love our Italian DNA and as a Frenchman, I think Italian and French people have more in common that we think; we both love food for a start!  

“Paolo and Cristiano are both still involved in the company,” adds Erwan. “Paolo plays a vital role in the invention of new recipes, sourcing ingredients, and experimenting with new concepts for the business. Cristiano, on the other hand, is more involved with strategic decisions, particularly artistic ones like branding, social media, and design.” 

Expanding footprint 

Turning to the future, he proposes: “Our goal is to double the size of our network by 2026, not in new territories, but by densifying our presence in countries in which we’re already established. We now have a huge presence across Europe, but there’s still room for growth. To give you an idea, we have 120 stores in France, but only 30 in Spain, 20 in the UK, and ten in Portugal, so there’s potential to grow our position in these countries.  

“Specifically, most of our UK stores are located in London, but we’re expanding beyond the capital into Cambridge and Leeds, for instance, as we strive to operate a total of 50 UK stores within the next two years.  

“My overall dream for the business over the next five years is to reach our goal of 400 stores worldwide, while maintaining our quality and rigor, and not compromising on the selection of products,” Erwan concludes.