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Meet Jared Olkin of Revolution Gelato

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jared Olkin.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Like many people who start businesses, this really evolved out of a personal need.

Basics — I *LOVE* ice cream. My mom had an amazing homemade ice cream store when I was growing up in Chapel Hill, NC. So it set the bar high for what I expect in a frozen dessert.

Then when I was in college I did some reading and found myself moving toward a plant-based diet. Which was (and is) great. Except that all the vegan ice creams I tasted were seriously lacking.

So I started making it. My little cooking project turned into an obsession and I quickly realized that I had created something that wasn’t just better than the other vegan options, but even better than most of the dairy. Here was a way for me to make a difference; I knew I had to share it.

I worked on it on the side for a while, refining our recipes, and finally brought it to market summer 2015. Between then and now, we’ve racked up a handful of awards and are currently sold in 150+ locations across 12 states.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
By far the biggest struggle for us was production.

For a long time, we had no real options for producing small scale without building out our own facility, which is a much larger up-front cost and was not in our long-term plan. So we started working with a 3rd party manufacturer, but had all kinds of unexpected quality issues — it took lots of time and money to get that sorted out. It’s really only smoothed out in the last year or so.

Limited cash is always an issue because it restricts what you can do and how quickly. Still, our biggest challenge right now is simply building awareness. You can have the greatest item in the aisle, but people need to know about it.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Revolution Gelato – what should we know?
I’m most proud of the fact that we have accomplished the seemingly impossible. We’ve created a gelato using organic, plant-based, whole foods that stands on its own as a great product with deep, intense flavors and with a rich, creamy texture. No BS.

We’re diehard ice cream lovers and very finicky, so we already knew we had something great, but it is really rewarding to see others recognize and appreciate our efforts and results, both at the critics level (Flavor of GA, Taste of Atlanta) and on the individual level (yelp reviews, reactions during demos, etc.)

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Perseverance, without a doubt.

Pricing:

  • Pints are typically around 7.99-8.99
  • Single serve cups are typically around 2.99-3.49

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Mary Wood

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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