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Stickhouse: beating the summer heat

With temperatures rising, the demand for refreshing products is also on the rise.
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Gelato is the Italian version of ice cream, usually made by hand, made with less butterfat and sugar and—unlike most commercial ice creams—lasts just a few days after it’s made. It’s an ice cream alternative that health-conscious Filipinos have embraced in the footsteps of the “froyo” or frozen yogurt frenzy.

Enter Stickhouse, which is a brand from Italy but “is not found in the main Italian cities. It is not made commercially,” says Jalandoni. “We decided to bring it to the Philippines because we want to revolutionize the ice cream-on-a stick market, by combining artisanal production methods with the freshest and all-natural ingredients.”

“Artisanal” means something skillfully crafted by hand by an artisan or manual worker, and this manual process shows in each Stickhouse store—which in itself “is our marketing tool,”  Jalandoni adds.

“The minute a customer walks into (a store), we want immediate impact. Choosing from a wide array of gelatos on stick, (customers can) boost their excitement even more as they ‘personalize’ their gelatos and top them off with a generous helping of grains and dips. All these, without the guilt, as we offer all natural Italian ingredients and extra health benefits,” he says.

In introducing Stickhouse to Filipinos, Maxidrive wants “to combine the spirit of fun and flavor in the ice cream market. We want to give ice cream lovers something unique and something that’s a healthy alternative,” says Jalandoni. “We feel that the market is looking for a novel ice cream concept by offering all-natural Italian ingredients on a stick. It’s not an ordinary ice cream that you can buy off the shelf.”

The Stickhouse outlets in Quezon City’s TriNoma (a full restaurant and two kiosks in the cinema area), Mandaluyong’s SM Megamall and SM North EDSA in Quezon City (both full restaurants) are the first Stickhouse outlets outside of Italy. It took Maxidrive about nine months to bring it to local shores “from the time we started negotiations, conceptualization operational studies, to deployment,” Jalandoni adds.

Stickhouse offers seven base flavors, all of which are imported from Italy. Regular flavors are milk cream, chocolate, and gianduia (a combination of chocolate and hazelnut). Premium flavors are pistachio and coffee. Although most of the ingredients are sourced from Italy, local and imported fruits are used for its sorbets (Italian sorbet is gelato made without dairy ingredients).

“There are certain ingredients that we source locally, like the strawberry and mango,” says Jalandoni.

Some Italian-themed local restaurants already offer gelato, but Stickhouse is the first to offer gelato on a stick, he adds. Regular gelato flavors are priced at P70 per stick. Premium flavors are at P80 per, while the sorbet is available at P60 per.

Stickhouse will soon introduce smaller gelato pieces to let more people try the product. Adds Jalandoni: “We really see the potential of this kind of ice cream novelty to click in the current market.”


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