Competition is Pointed in the Ice-Cold World of the Ice Cream Shop Business

People often rhapsodize about the pleasures to be found by opening a gelateria or ice cream business. When making these comments, they often envision a world filled with the scent of fresh fruit and early mornings that hang heavy with the perfume of natural vanilla and cinnamon.

But as some more practical-minded individuals would say:

No fluff here. Despite the preponderance of rainbow-colored sprinkles and cookie dough chunks, life as the owner of an ice cream shop can be just as cutthroat as the one of a pawnshop owner.

It seems like every weekend, making a choice between which gelateria to go to gets tougher. Thank the business’s quick proliferation for that. Even within a two-block radius, you’re likely to encounter several ice cream, frozen yogurt, and gelato options — all equipped with their own brand of modern or old school ice cream shop supplies. Given the unexpectedly complex choice in need of determination, it wouldn’t come as even a mild surprise that certain people in such a predicament would opt to dash into the nearest one to their standing position, or at to least strike out the one for which crossing the street might be necessary.

But for the more discerning frozen treat eaters out there, special considerations to take into account the gelato spoons that accompany the dessert and the selection of ambiance music. Even some die-hard gourmands would find grounds for objecting if such aspects were found lacking. Perhaps these last have been around long enough to have experienced something approaching sublimity in their tongues but ended up unsatisfied due to slightly wanting frozen yogurt cups.

If the gourmands — as a group, almost monolithically impervious to any thoughts exceeding the scope of sublime gastronomical taste — are second-guessing how much they’re enjoying your airy and cloud-like treat because of a matter of tasting spoons, you clearly have a problem. There’s no need to lecture here about the widening of consumer choice; every business owner knows as much. Even when operating in an arena with relatively circumspect competition, they never lose sight of the importunateness of sitting on even the laurels of long-standing enviable advantages. Clearly, not everything is rosy in even this business romance.

Sam Walters is a writer living in Los Angeles. Her writing appears in print and online.

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