David Wrigley started The Yorkshire Gelato Company after overhearing footballers wishing for a high-protein ice cream. He combined his knowledge of nutrition and gelato to create just that, and now he is entering his product, Proteina, into Innovation Showcase at Venturefest Tees Valley.
Describe your business in no more than 100 words
We are a forward-thinking yet traditional company that make top quality desserts, patisserie and gelato for hotels, restaurants and catering outlets. We like to work closely with chefs, making bespoke items for their premises. This allows our company to constantly think outside the box.
What prompted you to enter the innovation showcase?
Proteina gelato is a very special and unique product that we have developed. We have three products aimed at different markets, healthcare, the health conscious, and athletes.
Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with.
Proteina gelato is a great tasting gelato for a healthier you. Complete nutrition, it contains 24 vitamins and minerals, whey protein isolate, probiotics and slow carbohydrates. Per 100g it has only 2.7g of fat but still tastes like normal gelato.
The product came about as a result of a conversation I overheard at Middlesbrough Football Club where I work as a chef on match days in addition to running my own business. While at the club I learned that the first team were looking for a high protein ice cream. At the time, I had just started making Italian gelato so this really sparked my interest. After further research I could find only one product on the market and after buying and sampling this I knew I could do better. Putting all this knowledge of gelato and nutrition together, I created Proteina, a complete nutritional gelato.
How would you describe that innovation to your grandparents?
A great tasting gelato for a healthy you.
What are the best and worst parts of trying to be innovative in your business?
The best thing is creating new products that help others – it’s something I really enjoy.
The worst I suppose is when sometimes you hit a brick wall and have to go back to the drawing board or take a different approach. This can add months to your development.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Getting the product to market is always a challenge. Speaking to the right people to let them know that your product will save them time, trouble and benefit their business.
Where do you get support and advice to help you run your business?
I have built up a great team of professionals each with their own skill sets and being a member of the Tees Valley Business Club helps. It’s a great place to find the right people for advice you may need.
What does being chosen for the innovation showcase mean to you?
It’s a great opportunity to showcase my great new product to the business community.
Where do you see your company in five years’ time?
A company that prides itself on quality, selling the UK’s number one complete nutritional gelato here and abroad.
What would you tell businesses who are hoping to be more innovative?
Make a start and take your time to create the best product you can and believe in what you have achieved. But above all, be personally involved in the project. Don’t be tempted to outsource it. Control is everything.