Celebrating Small Biz: Capogiro Gelato Artisans, LLC
GtrPhilaBiz - October, 2007
Today's featured winner of the 25th Annual Excellence Awards: Honoring the Region's Small Businesses is Capogiro for 2008 Retailer of the Year.

Capogiro Gelato Artisans was founded in 2002 by the husband-and-wife team of John and Stephanie Reitano. The year before, John, a practicing physician, and Stephanie, a kids’ boutique-clothing entrepreneur and mother of their three children, took a trip to John's birthplace in Italy, where Stephanie had her first taste of old-world gelato.

The couple, who had always been tossing business-venture ideas around, became inspired and decided they would bring the tradition of this high-end delicacy back to Philadelphia. After extensive research, Stephanie decided to create gelato the old-fashioned way, making every flavor by hand and relying on local agricultural sources for the best tasting ingredients. She has since been recognized by culinary and media circles as one of the finest and most innovative gelato chefs in the U.S.

As the first new tenant at 13th and Sansom Streets, Capogiro Gelato Artisans quickly became a cultural and lifestyle destination that helped launch a neighborhood and a brand, acclaimed by visiting Italians and local Philadelphians alike. Today, the company employs 35 people, has two retail locations in Philadelphia, and distributes to major grocers, specialty grocers, restaurants and specialty food establishments in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Seattle.

The owners' commitment to this region is demonstrated by their support of the local, state and regional economies, including the use of fresh ingredients from fruit and dairy farmers in Lancaster County; plans to move to a larger manufacturing facility; and the opening of five additional retail locations over the next three years.

Capogiro Gelato Artisans still operates without help from a public relations or marketing firm, yet continues to attract national and international attention, including food editors at Saveur, The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Town and Country, Food and Wine, Travel and Leisure, The New York Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly 2003.