Incu 18th Birthday – Messina Q&A

Incu 18th Birthday – Messina Q&A

Read our chat with longtime mates Messina on how these special Incu x Messina flavours were crafted, our with Messina, and which of their famed #MessinaSpecials have stood out over the years.

In celebration of our coming of age, we've enlisted our mates over at Gelato Messina to create 5 unique ice cream flavours developed by some of our favourite brands. We've got Patagonia, State of Escape, Paloma Wool, Rag & Bone and Café Kitsuné stepping up to the plate.

Read below as we chat to our longtime mates on how these special flavours were crafted and which of their famed #MessinaSpecials have stood out over the years.

Happy 18th guys! Did you ever dream that Messina would be what it is today when you first opened up the doors?
I don't think any of us could have imagined we’d be here when we first opened up. When we first opened in Darlinghurst, it was considerably quieter than it is now. Nick (Founder and Co-Owner) used to live across the road from the store, making and serving all the gelato himself before his brother Danny joined him to help out with the service. Shortly thereafter, Donato (Head Chef) and Declan (Brand and Marketing) came on board and the business grew quite organically with very little forward planning or dreams of what this could be! In all honesty we are still making it up as we go along. I mean who’d have thought we’d become dairy farmers?

Explain to us your relationship with Incu and how this has evolved over the years…
We’ve known Brian, Vinnie and Doug since the early days. When we first met, both Incu and Messina had only one store each. But we had a mutual admiration for what we stood for and what we were trying to achieve. The boys asked us to do a small class and chat with their managers and senior staff members about our business. It was quite an honour as we really didn’t think anyone was taking much notice! Since then we’ve collaborated and supported each other in business many times.

What’s the most rewarding part of owning and operating an ice cream business?
It’s really easy to make people happy - a scoop of ice cream does wonders. We also have kids so they get playground kudos when they tell people their parents own Gelato Messina! We’ve built a business we want to hand down to them - some of the older kids are already working in the business for when we’re ready to hang up our scoopers. It’s also been amazing to build a brand who can collaborate with not only food brands but people like INCU who are in a whole different category and work on projects which are completely different.

What does being an Australian business mean to Messina?
Australian’s are respected worldwide for our commitment to quality across a wide range of products. From food and beverage to fashion and technology. We love being part of that. We wear it with pride, but we are humbled by the recognition. I think that’s the essence of being a proud Australian company.

Of the thousands of special flavours over the years, do any stand out as being extra special?

Some of the ones we’ve created for our really loyal customers over the years - like Monoffee Pie - created for one of our customers who proposed in the stores, or the ones we’ve made for our kids, partners or family all have a bit of meaning behind them.

In all honesty we are still making it up as we go along. I mean who’d have thought we’d become dairy farmers?

Which flavour out of our 5 brands really got the team excited? Was there a flavour in there which is Messina’s first foray into it?
The Paloma Wool one was popular with the bakery team as the einsamada was a new product they haven’t baked before - meaning we got to do a lot of taste testing in the product development phase.

How did you go about working with each brand on perfecting their idea for a flavour?
The process started with us asking each brand what they love or anything in particular that meant something special to their brand. Our Head Chef & Co-Owner Donato, then works on the recipe to make sure it has the perfect amount of flavours to be a Messina special. Lots of taste testing along the way too!

Please pass on a little Happy Birthday message to Incu…
Happy Birthday - looking forward to the next 18 years of friendship and getting old and fat together.