Gelato Fiasco uses Starbucks loan to compete with Starbucks, CNN notes the irony (video)

CNN Money has uploaded to its website a video featuring Gelato Fiasco co-founder Joshua Davis, in which he discusses how the Gelato Fiasco was able to finance expansion to a second location in Portland (the original is in Brunswick).

The piece is titled: “Thanks Starbucks! Now I’m your competitor”

With banks hesitant to lend him money for the new store, Davis told CNN the Gelato Fiasco team turned to Wiscasset-based Coastal Enterprises Inc., which then introduced the small business owners to a Starbucks-backed loan fund called Create Jobs for USA. Starbucks, it’s worth noting, has a franchise not far from the Gelato Fiasco’s new Fore Street spot.

Bloomberg also made mention of the Gelato Fiasco’s financing in a story today about Starbucks proposing an expansion of the fund. Here’s what Davis said in the CNN Money vignette, which also gets a mention in a New York Times blog:

One of the opportunities that they came back with was the fund that Starbucks created to grow jobs in the United States. The loan amount was about $140,000. The loan was exclusively for use here at our new location, it’s to expand our business. We hired six people and we’re looking for four more, so we’re going to eventually create 10 jobs in this new location. It’s ironic, I guess. [Starbucks is] a block away from us right now. We’re in the same business in a way. We both sell coffee. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone.

As you can see for yourself, Davis is far from taunting the global coffee chain in the CNN piece. He’s actually quite gracious and appreciative:

When I was in Seattle, I made it a point to go to the original Starbucks store. The company grew in the same way we tried to grow, by offering the customers an experience they couldn’t able to get anywhere else. We’ve always tried to emulate the best parts of their business model. I hope someday we’re in the same position to be able to do the same thing, to give back to the economy that’s given us this opportunity.

Can’t get enough? Here’s a Gelato Fiasco video clip of Davis whipping up a batch of Allen’s Coffee Brandy flavored gelato:


Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.