Christchurch cafe Rollickin Gelato has won the Hospo Lifeline competition aimed at helping New Zealand hospitality business owners get back into business after the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the winner of the competition, which was launched by online takeaway directory FirstEats, Rollickin Gelato receives $26,000 worth prizes which will help it recover from lost business during lockdowns.
“Prior to lockdown we were in a high-growth phase, and then bricks and mortar became irrelevant overnight,” said Jed Joyce, owner and founder at Rollickin Gelato.
“Due to the decline in tourism, I had to make the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make and close our Art Centre site as we weren’t getting the foot traffic.”
In order to survive and adapt to the “new normal”, the brand came up with several solutions, including a contactless delivery app, a new dessert menu and plans for a new website to support delivery.
Rollickin Gelato has also contributed to the local community such as Dog Walks to raise funds for the SPCA, custom flavours to support local musicians and their most recent support of the upcoming New Zealand elections, encouraging young people to vote through custom ice-cream flavours inspired by politicians, such as Jacinda Fever and David S’more.
“We were so impressed by Rollickin Gelato’s application, from their optimism to their innovative approach to business and the way they have supported their staff and the local community through the past few months,” said Mat Weir, founder of FirstEats.
“Winning this prize is so important to us, we’re a young and fluid team and we’re driven to keep innovating so that we can come out the other side with a solid brand and a bulletproof business,” said Joyce. “The support of Hospo Lifeline means so much to us, and we’re really grateful for the opportunity to continue to share our fun with Christchurch and the wider New Zealand community.”