Morano Gelato, which opened inside The Shops at Chestnut Hill a year ago and has quickly built up a devoted legion of fans, is now seeking franchisees to bring the shop nationwide, owner Morgan Morano announced. She has also launched wholesaling operations for Massachusetts; stay tuned for more details on where to find the products. (Update: Pints of Morano Gelato are currently available at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge and Boston.)
Morano Gelato was born in 2010, after Morano traveled to Italy to apprentice with a Sicilian gelato maker. She came back and debuted the concept in Hanover, NH in 2010, first at a farmers’ market, then in the back of a cafe, and then in her own space (which later expanded into a neighboring space). In 2013, she licensed the shop to new owners in order to focus on expanding the brand.
The same year that Morano brought her gelato to Chestnut Hill, she also published a book on making gelato at home.
To begin actively seeking franchisees, Morano has brought onboard Troy Taylor, who has been both a franchisor and franchisee with numerous fast-casual brands over the last three decades. Morano and Taylor are looking for owner/operators with "a passion to bring traditional Sicilian artisan gelato, sorbet, granita, Italian espresso, Italian hot chocolate, and more to their communities."
At the existing locations, there are 12-16 flavors of gelato available each day, with flavors rotating seasonally and even daily. Some flavors that have made appearances over the years: fennel, bourbon maple, dark chocolate with sea salt, Sicilian cannoli, avocado, cake batter, blood orange sorbet, and many more. There are also hot beverages available.
"I fell in love with the craft of gelato-making while studying it in Italy and I am excited to continue teaching Americans the difference when it comes to authentic gelato made in small batches with fresh and often local ingredients," Morano said via press release. "As I’ve honed my craft, I’ve developed an accessible way to bring the Morano Gelato concept to markets around the country, and I hope to find entrepreneurs with a passion for gelato to join me."
Morano promises fast launches with low construction costs and high profitability thanks to low competition in the gelato marketplace as well as the small size of the shops; they only require 800 to 1,500 square feet of space. Morano and Taylor are open to talking with entry-level franchisees as well as those with more experience. Want to get onboard? There's more information on the company’s website.
Locally, the Chestnut Hill Morano Gelato has found a happy home right next to Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, which helpfully attracts long lines and doesn’t serve dessert, making Morano a convenient stop before or after pizza (or before and after). The gelato shop is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.