High Road Craft Ice Cream Inc. (High Road), Marietta, Ga., said it acquired Boston-based Ciao Bella Gelato Co. Inc., adding the country’s sorbetto portfolio to its lineup. The combined company plans to explore additional opportunities in the rapidly growing craft frozen dessert and novelty categories.
Ciao Bella Gelato has a storied history as a pioneer in the craft frozen dessert industry, High Road said. Founded in 1983 in New York, the brand quickly found its way to success via innovative flavors, a cult foodservice following, and a commitment to quality.
“I discovered Ciao Bella’s products as an aspiring young chef, and sought out their flavors both as a consumer and a professional during my culinary journey,” said Keith Schroeder, High Road’s CEO. “To have the opportunity to steward a brand that I’ve admired for so long is quite a dream come true.”
Sherbrooke Capital worked closely with the Ciao Bella team to develop the company’s brand and growth strategy and optimize the operations infrastructure.
“Over the past several years, we’ve been honored to partner with Ciao Bella on its path to becoming a leader in the non-dairy frozen dessert category,” said John Giannuzzi, managing general partner for Sherbrooke Capital. “High Road’s acquisition reaffirms the confidence we’ve had all along in the company’s success and its potential.”
Ciao Bella’s CEO, Carlos Canals, is similarly enthusiastic about the brand’s future and will be joining High Road as its chief integration officer, High Road said. Canals will emphasize revenue growth, expansion of the company’s brand architecture and new product innovation.
“We could not have found a better home for Ciao Bella than High Road,” Canals said. “The passion, the belief in good food and the innovative approach that Keith and the entire team brings is exactly what Ciao Bella needs for its next chapter. I am very happy to be joining the team and can’t wait to see the marvelous things that High Road will create.”