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Subscription gelato may be one answer to a cool business climate

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Scoops of gelato in a Gelateria Uli cup.

Courtesy of Uli Nasibova

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It’s summertime, and for many people that means eating more creamy scoops of frozen goodness. But how consumers are buying their frozen desserts has changed a lot for Gelateria Uli, which has two Los Angeles locations along with a production kitchen.

Uli Nasibova is the owner and operator of the business, and she estimates that impulse purchases are down 70%, causing a significant loss of revenue for her company. Nasibova was able to get loans from the Paycheck Protection Program and an economic emergency disaster fund — both through the Small Business Administration — to lean on for now. But relying on outside revenue, she said, can be stressful.

“At my lowest, I started calling people and saying how do I do this?” Nasibova said. “How do I implement this pivot? And a lot of what I’m doing today, none of it is my invention. It’s mostly just taking advice from people.” And that advice includes a new subscription model of monthly curated gelato that Nasibova launched on June 24. Her goal is 1,000 subscriptions, which would generate $45,000 of monthly revenue for her business.

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