Botteghe di Leonardo: “Ready to take on Africa”
Eugenio De Marco, managing director of Le Botteghe di Leonardo defines his company as an “ambassador for gelato throughout the world.”
On the scene for 10 years, Eugenio De Marco attributes the success of Le Botteghe di Leonardo to three major factors: franchising, directly owned stores and food service. This approach has allowed the chain to expand into large markets like Brazil. Another advantage of Le Botteghe di Leonardo is that it has found the right mix in terms of the size of its shops, the products on offer, production (which is centralized and certified kosher, meaning the gelato doesn’t have to be blended on site in shops), and opening hours.
Le Botteghe di Leonardo has four stores in Italy and 30 food-service clients—not only individual stores but large distribution networks along with Italian and European companies (Liberté Patisserie Boulangerie) as well. In Brazil, it has six directly owned stores, five bikes/kiosks, and supplies gelato to the top Italian restaurants in Sao Paulo. Thanks to its partnership with the Multiplan group, it will soon open its seventh store in one of the most important shopping centers in Latin America.
With 3.5 million euros in investment, in 2018, the company saw turnover of 6 million euros (4 million indirect) with an EBITDA of 30%, which comes from Italy and abroad equally.
“To expand, we are considering small-scale venture capital, then in the future, we will think about opening capital to a fund. Brazil is the gateway for Latin America therefore the objective of Le Botteghe di Leonardo is to further establish ourselves and then expand into other countries,” says De Mauro. “The growth strategy also includes Europe, especially France.”
And there is something new for the company on the horizon, which shared exclusively with MAG: “We are concluding a joint venture to develop our business model in French-speaking Africa. We will start with Cameroon,” concludes De Marco.