MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The winning recipe for a small business is a good plan and a good product. That’s why when Jamie Yuccas spotted a tricycle with a freezer box and radio attached, she had to meet the rider.

His name is Brian Gioielli. His $8,000 investment in a bike and a box mixed with family tradition is a sweet treat for anyone in South Minneapolis. It’s called Geno’s Gelato.

“It’s named after my father, Geno,” Gioielli said.

Now, Geno’s Gelato is hitting up parties inside and hitting the streets outside with a tiny freezer at the front with a boom box at the back.

Gioielli and local chef Bethany Nelson originally looked into starting a food truck.

“A food truck was much too big of an investment,” Gioielli said.

Wanting to stay mobile, they worked with the city of Minneapolis to license a food bike. After two years, a custom tricycle — and perfecting gelato, Italian ice and cannoli recipes — they were ready to roll.

“It’s an adventure, it’s really fun,” Gioielli said.

They work out of the kitchen of Spill the Wine in Uptown, which doesn’t serve lunch. So, Nelson goes in before her day job at a bakery in St. Paul. Gioielli also has a regular gig.

“I’m the development director for a nonprofit called The Brand Lab,” Gioielli said.

So, in between trying to provide access and opportunity for diverse high school students in marketing and advertising, he’s selling Italian Ice cream.

“It’s a nice balance, I get to have fun during the day and then it’s a nice opportunity to get out on the streets when it’s nice out on nights and weekends,” Gioielli said.

You’ll find him primarily in Uptown and South Minneapolis.

The only time the team plans to put the brakes on is when the snow flies.

“Well, we haven’t had a winter yet, so we’ll go as long as we can and still do catering and events,” Gioielli said.

They hope you’ll like Strawberry, Caramel Swirl or Espresso Chocolate so much they can expand with more bikes.

So next time you see Geno’s Gelato peddling by.

“Flag us down and try something,” Gioielli said.

If you want to know where he’s at, he posts all his stops online. Check him out on his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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