“Impressed customers, smiling children, happy faces and, above all: summer and italianità every single day!”

The family-run company in Bern grew rapidly after its foundation in 2010. Having established the gelateria on Länggasse, its founders then continued to grow their business and add new branches in Bern and, in 2017, also in Zurich. Today, the Gelateria di Berna is something of an institution for many people. We met up with Hansmartin for a chat.

Hello! Would you please briefly introduce yourself and the Gelateria di Berna?Buongiorno, my name is Hansmartin Amrein. In 2010, I took up a drilling hammer, brick trowels and a cement mixer together with my wife, Susanna Moor, and my brothers, Michael and David, and we converted a garage on Länggasse in Bern into our very first gelateria. Ten hours after its opening, we turned our well-planned concept upside down for the first time. And we have been doing that again and again ever since. It’s a lot of fun.

What made you want to spend your lives as gelaterieri in Bern? Impressed customers, smiling children, happy faces and, above all: summer and italianità every single day! Our display cabinet is full of happiness. Any experience can serve as inspiration, really. Hiking in the countryside, meeting new people, travelling abroad – we find inspiration anywhere. Even the craziest ideas can result in an amazing new flavour.

How do you produce and sell your gelato? In all our gelaterias, we make our products fresh every day. Often, the gelato goes straight from the flash freezer into the display cabinet. We will never compromise on that. Sure, a centralised production system would improve our efficiency and save us money. But we sell fresh gelato made on site in surprising flavours. That’s our promise – and our customers can rely on that.

What challenges do you face in your business every day? Our staff planning depends on the daily weather forecast. That’s quite stressful and requires a great deal of fairness, consideration and responsibility. In midsummer, we have to force ourselves to set aside time for the details that make our products special. We want to put a happy smile on every single guest’s face. And we want to direct that moment of joy for them without intruding.

The government provides a digital platform that allows SMEs to do a lot of their paperwork online. How does that help you? It’s incredibly helpful! Digitalisation allows us to spend our time thinking about our products and our projects rather than visiting government offices to take care of administrative tasks. That can make an enormous difference for any start-up.

Bern, Zurich – where are you headed next? Wherever we feel like going and wherever fate takes us. Why not Brooklyn in New York, La Chaux-de-Fonds or just the Röschibachplatz in Zurich? As long as we’re having fun and are looking forward to the opening, any place is the right place.

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