BRUNSWICK — Gelato Fiasco is selling its Industry Road production facility, saying it just doesn’t need the space anymore.

The 11,740-square-foot building is listed for $1.35 million by The Boulos Company.

Bobby Guerette, Gelato’s marketing director, said the property went on the market in February in the aftermath of operational changes the company made last fall in the production of the frozen Italian dessert made from milk, cream and sugar.

Gelato Fiasco relocated part of its production operations to Michigan in October 2018, a move that co-founder Joshua Davis said at the time could result in the elimination of about eight positions. The company had 45 full-time workers, a number that grows during the peak season in summer months.

The company said Monday there have been no other job changes due to the move.

“We just have been unable to keep up with production at our current facility,” Davis told the Portland Press Herald last fall.

Guerette said in an email to The Times Record Monday that the company had decided that a change in its pint model was needed to serve its customers well and continue growing a strong brand.

“Our wholesale grocery store pints are being produced to our recipes and specifications at this Michigan facility, which is owned and operated by a partner,” Guerette said.

This is known as co-manufacturing or co-packing.

“This is a routine for growing natural food brands, as it is extremely complicated and cost-intensive to try to run a certified food production facility, national logistics distribution network, wholesale sales and marketing team, national marketing strategy, and research and development all at the same time,” Guerette said.

Joshua Davis and Bruno Tropeano began Gelato Fiasco with the opening of its flagship store on Maine Street in Brunswick in August 2007. It opened its Old Port store in Portland January 2012. By April 2015, Gelato Fiasco products could be found in 2,000 stores in 45 U.S. states.

Gelato Fiasco is currently in approximately 5,000 grocery stores across the country and Guerette said it is the No. 1 best-selling independently owned gelato pint brant in the U.S., according to industry data.

“We have unique all-natural flavors, local customers, a large network of grocery stores, and a strong brand,” Guerette wrote. “Our sales have never been higher.”

The company will continue to operate shops in Maine.

“Gelato and sorbetto at our Maine Street (Brunswick) and Old Port locations continue to be produced by our teams at those shops, and will continue to be produced at them in the future,” Guerette said.

As a result of the change in operations, Guerette said Gelato Fiasco didn’t need the facility on just over an acre at 2 Industry Road. Purchased in 2013, it has been used for gelato pint production, office space and storage.

In 2015, Gelato Fiasco got a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant as it planned a $1.4 million expansion to the facility. The business had added 20 positions in the previous 20 months and planned to add 15 more positions to meet grant stipulations.

“We continue to meet the requirements of (the) grant, including actively hiring for our Brunswick operation,” Guerette said.

The building was built in 1985 and fully renovated in 2016, according to the realty listing. According to the town of Brunswick, Gelato Fiasco’s last property tax bill totaled $14,731. Records show the production facility contains $987,100 in equipment, most exempt from personal property tax under the Business Equipment Tax Exemption.

Property broker Tim Millett said there has been a lot of interest and many showings of the building.

Although designed for specialty use, the manufacturing of gelato, “we found there are other alternative uses that can use the same equipment that has been installed in the building,” he said.


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