Yvonne decided to start DaVinci Gelato in 2015, during a period of restlessness. At the time, she was working with her husband in his construction business. When a disheartening case of arson occurred at one of their jobsites, Yvonne decided to take it as a sign and start making gelato again.
Dar Schwanbeck was the one to finally motivate Yvonne to take the plunge and introduce her gelato products to St. Albert. She took a modified trailer to the St. Albert Farmer’s Market, and was amazing by the positive response. Once she had found her starting point, she moved on to a much bigger scope, focusing on getting DaVinci Gelato into restaurants. Her hope was that her gelato could help make a lasting final impression on guests that would bring them back to the restaurant for more. One of her greatest successes has been becoming the supplier for Famoso restaurants across Canada. If you’ve had dessert at Famoso recently, it’s likely that you’ve already sampled DaVinci’s products!
As she grew the business, Yvonne continued to lean on NABI for advice in four different areas of business development: product development, marketing, finance, and identifying a target market. The last, she says, is particularly important for any new venture, and really helped her gain focus and a sense of direction.
“I just want people to know that NABI was so helpful,” Yvonne says. “And really, the whole city of St. Albert. It’s a fantastic business community, and we are so happy to have the business located here and get the support. I still like to go to the Farmer’s Market myself when I can, because you just get that ‘wow’ factor when people try the gelato, and it’s so great to see.”
As their success grew, Yvonne’s family jumped in to lend a hand. Her husband made the shift from construction to help with the gelato business, and their son also got involved.
For now, Yvonne is focused on amping up production rates, finding more franchises that want to dress up their dessert menus with something more authentic, and focusing on niche markets like vegan and liquor gelato, which have tested as being incredibly popular. At the Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival, people waited in line for hours to try the newly developed DaVinci liquor and wine gelato.
If you’d like to learn more about DaVinci Gelato, or try a sample (and you definitely do!), you can drop by a Famoso restaurant for dessert, stop in at the Farmer’s Market in St. Albert, or drop by Davinci’s location – at 12C Rayborn Crescent – to buy a pint (or two, or three).
To find out how NABI can help grow your business and expand into new markets, contact us today at 780-460-1000, or drop into our newly opened Commons space.
Northern Alberta Business Incubator Society (NABI)
13 Mission Avenue
St. Albert, AB T8N 1H6
200 Carnegie Drive
St. Albert, AB T8N 5A7
118-205 Carnegie Drive
St. Albert, AB T8N 5B2
Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday 8:00am-4:30pm
Mountain Standard Time (MST)
Closed Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
Directions to NABI: Click Here