Fiasco Gelato | Winner of the 2018 Prairies High-Growth Entrepreneurship Award – Prairies
“You have to create your own luck.”
Fiasco Gelato was started in 2003 by entrepreneur Matt Wilson to provide Calgarians with amazing gelato. When James Boettcher acquired Fiasco in 2009, he reinvented the brand. Soon after, the store was gutted by a fire. The lease renewal only 6 months later, made it possible to continue and James spent the first half of 2010 rethinking business, beginning a new one in a garage.
Having starred adversity in the face, ‘The little Gelato shop that Could’ was transformed into a wholesale purveyor of the some of the finest Italian Ice Cream in Canada – with a commitment to changing the way business is done.
Fiasco has a strong environmental commitment, ensuring all business decisions comply with 8 different sustainability standards, including B-Corp, Meal Share, and Living Wage.
Fiasco Gelato has been recognized as one a Canadian Business Profit 500 fastest growing companies for three years in a row, and was acknowledged as the Break out Business of The Year by Calgary Chamber of Commerce for its 600 to 1,000% growth in its first five years.
What started as a small community gelato shop in 2003 has turned into a gelato juggernaut, shipping its product to over 1,600 retailers across Canada. Fiasco Gelato has become the industry leader in gelato by perfecting their craft, and acting as a force for good in fostering sustainable and responsible business practices in the community.
Startup News had the opportunity to sit down with James Boettcher to learn more.
SN: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
JB: I knew that having the power to build the company I wanted to work for would be fulfilling and make the world a better place.
SN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned to date?
JB: The biggest lesson I have learned to date is to trust your gut and not be afraid of risk. You have to create your own luck.
SN: What advice do you have to those starting up today?
JB: Ensure you are fully prepared to go all in. Entrepreneurship takes every ounce of you for it to materialize as you have dreamed. Too often new founders want to stand on top of the mountain, but are unwilling to climb it.
SN: What is the one thing you think we need to do as a nation, today, to position Canada as a global innovation and entrepreneurial leader?
JB: The Canadian Government needs to encourage business, not stifle it. Access to grants, banking, mentorship, etc are slowly becoming easier for those starting out, but it’s still not intuitive or as supportive as it needs to be for our great country to be a leader and attract talent from all over the world.
SN: What is your message to the world?
JB: Build Something That Matters
SN: How have you benefited from being a recipient of the Startup Canada Awards so far?
JB: The team has been grateful and honoured to be recognized for our hard work.