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Exploring Life & Business with Edoardo Tonolli of Bacio di Latte

Today we’d like to introduce you to Edoardo Tonolli.

Hi Edoardo, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’m the founder and principle owner of Bacio di Latte. Since my childhood, I’ve always had a great passion for Gelato. I was born in Milan and in 2009 after completing my degree, I volunteered at a hospital in Northern Brazil for about year. At the end of the volunteer service, I passed through Sao Paolo on my way back home to Italy. There I recognized the citizen’s intense love for gelato, but gelato shops were in short supply.

With the need in the marketplace and my passion for gelato, I decided to create a high-end gelateria in Sao Paolo. Thus, I began the journey along with my brother Luigi to research and learn more about quality gelato and what it would take to start a retail gelato business.

In 2011 moved by the extraordinary people and culture of Brazil, we opened our first store in Sao Paulo alongside many high-end shops and restaurants on the well-known ‘Rua Oscar Freire’. The shop was very well received, and we saw that expansion was not only possible but practically required so we planned and opened more stores in Brazil. We began thinking about international expansion and looked to the U.S. for growth in markets that were both sophisticated and familiar with gelato. In 2017, we signed our first lease at the Westfield Century City Mall – a high-end, outdoor shopping center on the west side of Los Angeles. With the success of that gelateria, we secured a space in the Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach in 2019. Fashion Island is also an upscale, outdoor shopping center.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Brazil has been a wonderful story. It’s a beautiful country that offers a lot of opportunity but at the same time is politically and economically unstable. Doing business there can be a bit of a rollercoaster but our stores have been successful, and our company has grown quickly. Starting a business in another country is challenging. We spent a lot of time understanding the culture, behavior, and lifestyle of our potential customers as well as learning how to do business in the U.S. and the State of California. It’s not easy but we are constantly working on it. We had to make adjustments to our recipes and flavors for the market. It took about a year to feel we had succeeded not only with our customers but our talented staff as well who believe in our products and our mission. We are very proud of our Century City and Newport Beach stores!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
We make our gelato fresh every day in both shops and will continue to do that as we grow in the U.S. We source the best organic milk and cream from the Spaletta Ranch in Sonoma, CA. The interior of our shops resembles Italian country kitchen, clean and white, with shelves filled with milk bottles, latte cups, copper bowls, whisks and other cooking tools. We offer 22 flavors of gelato, and all are made with fresh fruits, chocolate from Belgium and Italy, Pistachios and Hazelnut from Italy. The taste of our flavors is unique and texture is creamy and smooth. Our most popular item is our waffle cone (also made in house) filled with Nutella and one or two scoops of gelato. We offer hand-packed gelato in pints and other size containers to take away to enjoy with friends and family. You can order online through the most popular deliveries app. Follow us on Instagram at Bacio di Latte US (baciodilatteus). Currently, we have two locations one in Los Angeles (Westfield Century City) and the other one in Newport Beach (OC) in Fashion Island Mall. We continue to look for other great locations. OBS: Bacio di Latte shops are company-owned and operated and are not franchised. All of our stores are owned by family members from Milan and private equity investment.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I recall my mum saying, “if you behave, I will buy you an ice-cream!”

Contact Info:

  • Address: Westfield Century City (10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90067) Fashion Island (133 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660)
  • Email: hello@baciodilatte.us
  • Website: baciodilatte.us
  • Instagram: baciodilatteus
  • Facebook: baciodilatteus
  • Yelp: bacio di latte

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