The Gelato Fiasco vs. Häagen-Dazs
The Gelato Fiasco vs. Häagen-Dazs
The challenge: How to make a mark in the $25 billion U.S. frozen-dessert industry.

What they did: : This fast-growing Brunswick, Maine, company, founded only four years ago, now sells its all-natural gelato at 110 outlets, including Whole Foods. Its niche? Fiasco produces about 32 flavors a season, compared with five or six from its competitors. Its small, limited-edition batches have attracted a cult following of customers willing to pay premium prices of $6.50 a pint, or $4.21 for a small cup. Founders Josh Davis, 29, and Bruno Tropeano, 28, also know how to keep costs down. They've partnered with independent shops that distribute their gelato -- avoiding the expense of opening many stores on their own. They expect to be profitable this year on sales of $1.1 million (compared with $732,393 last year). At more than $4 a scoop, not a real shocker.

By Elaine Pofeldt, contributor @FortuneMagazine - Last updated February 06 2012: 1:57 PM ET
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