Happy New Year! As I reflect on 2018, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for having you. Back when I used to work in the finance world, I loved the glossy annual reports for shareholders summarizing the year and even more so how various fund managers would do very personal annual letters to their shareholders. I always thought it was so special to be able to reach out to your customers directly and speak in your own voice. I feel fortunate to be able to do something in the same vein. From day one, this business was more than just about making and selling gelato – it was also my experiment incommunity-building. For me – an immigrant who left her home at 17 to study in this beautiful country on a scholarship – this business has been about finding like-minded customers, like-minded employees and connecting to my new city through its different cultures, specifically their cuisines. My medium is gelato, my canvas is Los Angeles. Thank you for allowing me to represent Los Angeles in my own special little way.
While achieving great media coverage, we continued to look inwards and develop from within. We innovated and created new flavors (Latke with Apple Sauce debuted this year for Hanukkah, just to name one). We bought more fresh fruit and produce from farmer’s markets than any previous year. We closed for a day and took a company-wide farm trip to Murray Family Farms this August to learn more about organic farming and how we source our ingredients. We also saved about 1000 pint containers from being thrown away, through our pint recycling program (if you bring in 7 empty containers, you get a free pint of your choice). We switched to biodegradable to-go containers and spoons at both locations. We continue to donate proceeds from doggie gelato and pup-sicles to doggie rescues around LA.
I am honored to continue building a thoughtful and high-quality business concept. In order to do so, as of today, the price for our gelato and coffee items will increase 50 cents. I agonized about this decision and staved it off for as long as I could. I haven't raised our prices since July of 2016 while everything around me has continually gone up. Please continue supporting us and other local restaurants and staff, committed to using the best ingredients, developing their employees and investing into their communities.
As I type this email, I hear jubilant celebration outside of my DTLA home of Angelenos ringing in the New Year. I am excited for what 2019 is going to bring. I feel more committed and inspired than ever to do the best I can to serve you through our product.