Friday, June 06, 2008

Changes Aim to Better Serve, Contribute to Specialty Dessert Ingredient Customers’ Success


CONCORD, N.C. (June 6, 2008) – PreGel AMERICA, the U.S. division of one of the largest specialty dessert ingredient manufacturers in the world, today formally announced the opening of its new, state-of-the-art North American headquarters and the launch of its redesigned corporate Web site,


The company also announced its name change from PreGel USA to PreGel AMERICA to better represent its operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.


With projected 50 percent sales growth this year, PreGel supplies the ingredients, toppings and fillings used in gelato and other specialty desserts directly to restaurants, gelato cafes, coffee shops, frozen yogurt shops, bakeries, pizzerias, hotels, resorts, grocery stores and universities, as well as a few distributors in the United States.


“Gelato’s popularity in North America is on the brink of explosive growth, and we’re poised to be at the forefront of that trend,” said Marco Casol, president and CEO of PreGel AMERICA, whose goal is to introduce Americans to the fresh taste and artisanal quality of gelato. “At PreGel, it’s about your passion and our ingredients. If you have a passion for life and the drive to succeed, our company is the ideal business partner for you.”


PreGel’s new 150,000-square-foot facility houses its unparalleled Professional Training Center complete with batch freezers, pasteurizers, display cases and other equipment from every major frozen-dessert machine manufacturer in the world. Here, the company offers regularly scheduled, complimentary instructional classes in gelato and specialty desserts for current and prospective gelato shop owners, managers and employees, as well as chefs and culinary students. The classes range in subject matter from introductory theory, history and hands-on application to business and marketing strategies to more advanced topics such as decoration and recipe formulation.


The new headquarters is also home to PreGel’s growing research and development team, comprised of seasoned gelato masters and chefs who experiment weekly with new ingredients and flavors to create unique recipes to set the company’s customers apart from their local competition. In addition, the team is readily available to customers to share expertise, answer questions, troubleshoot problems and collaborate on customer-suggested recipe ideas.


 “We’ve built our training, and research and development programs around four fundamental secrets to success for anyone who makes and serves gelato,” said Casol, a gelato master whose personal history includes family-owned gelato shops operated throughout Europe for more than 100 years. “Fresh gelato is the best gelato, and passion and commitment are key. The act of making gelato is an art that must be practiced and perfected. And finally, science is essential to maintaining a consistent product.”


PreGel’s new headquarters also includes its administrative offices and warehouse, which accommodates PreGel AMERICA, MEXICO and CANADA’s product storage and allows customers quicker access to a wider variety of products than ever before.


The sleek, European-inspired interior design throughout the new facility hints of the company’s Italian heritage – from the flint-colored ceramic floor tiles to the bright white desks, chairs and credenzas accented in red that decorate every office.


“It was important to us to offer our visitors the feeling of being in Italy,” said Casol. “We also plan to install a gelato bar and outdoor patio where our employees, customers and guests can sit and enjoy coffee, gelato and each other’s company as they would at a café in Europe.”


That same sleek design and positive energy carries through to the company’s new customer-friendly Web site, which allows visitors to browse PreGel’s product offerings, download recipes, view training schedules, register for classes and stay apprised of the latest news and events. In the future, customers also will be able to directly order product online, take a virtual tour of the facility, view training videos and visit an online “customer connect” where they can participate in an interactive forum.