By Rachel Woodward, February 2 2016 —
Local artisan gelato company Fiasco Gelato suffered a blow on Dec. 19 when an early morning fire tore through their café and offices. Since then, the business has been working non-stop to get back on their feet. According to spokesperson Brittany Back, they moved back into their offices in mid-January, resumed production on Jan. 11 and are hoping to be fully functional by early March.
“Right now our main focus is getting open again,” Back says. “Our team and contractors are working around the clock to get open for early March and our production team is hustling to get back on track after not producing for several weeks.”
The fire struck the building early in its life — despite Fiasco’s prevalence in the Calgary community, the company only opened the building last August.
The parlour is known for partnering with restaurants and shops around the city to display their products. Last semester a marketing class at the University of Calgary worked to conceive and market gelato flavours for the university’s upcoming 50th anniversary. Edmund Gee taught the class.
“One of [the U of C’s] partnerships is with Fiasco Gelato, so they were wondering about developing a flavour,” Gee says. “We thought that instead of a flavour just based on the university, we’d made it a competition where students created flavours based on the characteristics of different faculties.”
The winning group’s creation was a “strawberry and champagne” flavour. Though Gee hopes the gelato will be made, there are no guarantees yet.
Fiasco is also relaunching their Gelato Academy events, which lets people create custom gelato flavours, have drinks and take a tour of the facility. While some classes had to be cancelled because of the fire, Fiasco is back to running regular courses again, including a popular Valentine’s Day date night. Back says there was enough demand for adding a second session after the first quickly sold out.
“We have had a great response to Gelato Academy,” Back says. “It’s a great opportunity to get behind the scenes and look at how our day-to-day operations run, as well as being able to get their hands dirty handcrafting their very own flavour.”
Fiasco is currently wrapping up their winter flavour collection. Back says the community support they’ve received has been invaluable as the company picks themselves up from the fire.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it’s slowly coming together.”