Nicola Hazel.



What is your business called?

Jannettas Gelateria.

Where is it based?

St Andrews, Fife.

What does it produce, what services does it offer?

We produce artisan gelato following an original family recipe from 1908.

To whom does it sell?

We sell our products to the general public and wholesale markets, such as hotels and farm shops, among others.

Our turnover is growing year-on-year but it’s very weather dependent given that we specialise in gelato.

How many employees?

Staff numbers range from 30 off-season to approximately 80 in the high season.

When was it formed?

In 1908 by my great grandfather Bennett Iannetta, who had recently arrived from Monte Cassino near Rome, Italy. His name was accidentally painted with a ‘J’ instead of an ‘I’ above the shop when it opened back in 1908 and it has been known as Jannettas ever since.

Why did you take the plunge?

I joined the family business having completed my degree in Hotel Management at RGU in Aberdeen. My heart always lay in St Andrews, helping to run the family business and supporting the third generation – my mum (Fiona, a Jannetta and great granddaughter of the founder, Bennett) and dad (David). From a young age I felt I was destined to join the family in running Jannettas. I loved helping my granny and later, my parents. It’s hard work but so rewarding.

How did you raise the start-up funding?

I didn’t! It was my great grandfather and I believe it was through a great deal of hard work and initiative. He started with very little, having landed on the Fife shores at Dysart from Monte Cassino near Rome.

What was your biggest break?

Credit has to go to my father, who recognised growing consumer demand for ice cream and the need to develop and introduce new flavours. The number of flavours went from just six to 52 per day while he was running the business..

What was your worst moment?

Hand on heart I don’t think I have ever had a “worst moment”, although there have been challenges along the way. I think it’s important to stay ahead and plan for any major issues that could potentially impact the business.

I guess the one uncertainty currently is the ‘B’ word and it’s difficult to plan in a climate of uncertainty.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

The people. Receiving good customer feedback is hugely rewarding as is having return customers year after year – even those from far-flung places. Many of our customers also have links back to my grandfather and it’s incredible when they come in and share with me tales of when my forbearers were running the business and how they now enjoy bringing their children and grandchildren or in some cases great-grandchildren. We’re a family business that fosters family values.

.I also love seeing our team flourish and develop personally and professionally. We are always open to new and improved ways of working and developing our business. It’s great having fresh eyes and ideas and we embrace enthusiasm.

What do you least enjoy?

Having to refrain from continually eating or testing our gelato and all other produce we sell.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

We have so many aspirations it’s often hard to know where to start and what we can accommodate. It’s an exciting time for the business as we continue to grow and explore our options.

Due to limited space in our current location, which was originally the family home, we are expanding our production facilities. This will ensure future growth and development of the business.

What are your top priorities?

Sustainability – maintaining our reputation as an award-winning ice cream producer and providing the very best in customer service.

Growth – three generations before me have shown tenacity and sound business acumen to ensure the business has gone from strength to strength. Sustaining this approach is key to our continued growth and sustainability for the fifth generation.

Family – my family are incredibly important and getting time off to spend with them is crucial for me and my wellbeing.

Collaboration is key to our success and working with other Scottish food producers is very important to us. Provenance is something we are passionate about and being able to source local, seasonal produce ensures the highest quality and taste for all our customers. It’s also beneficial to our planet with reduced food miles. We are fortunate that Scotland and the Taycities area (covering Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross) in particular has an abundance of excellent food producers.

Reputation – in order to maintain our reputation built up over 111 years, it is of the utmost importance that we constantly review and monitor the quality of the 54 flavours we have available each day.

What single thing would most help?

Ice cream is for any season but that said, longer hotter summers would be a bonus!

What could the Westminster and/or Scottish Government do that would help?

In order for SMEs to grow and expand to the benefit of their local economies central governments need to provide easily accessible assistance and financial support. We’ve experienced that the processes for seeking assistance are often time consuming and lengthy and frustrating.

What is the most valuable lesson that you have learnt?

Never rest on your laurels – always look for new and innovative ways to develop and grow your business and team.

How do you relax?

As any other small business owner will know – a chance would be a fine thing!