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Gelato Mio, Harter House form partnership

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Gelato Mio is making major moves in the coming weeks, expanding its product line into both Springfield Harter House locations and completing renovations at its original downtown location, which opened in August.

Gelato Mio will open display cases with a dozen flavors in the two Harter House's bakeries. Additionally, Gelato Mio will offer Harter House bakery goods - such as cakes and cannoli - at its own store, 207 Park Central East, Gelato Mio co-owner Andy Drennen said.

"We've been downtown, and we know what customers like," he said, noting the 12 flavors will comprise the store's best-selling and seasonal gelati and will rotate on a weekly basis. "They're getting the benefit of our experience."

Drennen said Harter House's community-centered business model is what initially attracted him and his wife, Chantal Drennen, co-owner of Gelato Mio, back in December, when negotiations began on the project.

"Their reputation and how they provide service is right in line with what we do," Andy Drennen said. "It wasn't an overnight deal.

"We put a lot of research into it."

Randy Richards, co-owner of the Eastgate Harter House location, could not be reached for comment by deadline, but in a news release, he noted that Harter House is glad to be on board.

“The products we offer to our customers must go through a rigorous selection process based on quality, and Gelato Mio was no exception," he said in the release. "Harter House prides itself in promoting our local community and is happy to bring in quality gelato from Gelato Mio."

Gelato Mio will hold a Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 6 at Harter House's 1625 S. Eastgate Ave. location. Gelato Mio products will be available starting next week at both Harter House locations.

The Harter House expansion coincides with a renovation at Gelato Mio. The 1,324-square-foot downtown treat stop is knocking down walls to add more floor space for customers and the addition of a smoothie bar, Drennen said, noting the store will be closed the week of the Harter House ribbon-cutting ceremony to finish the renovations.

"The timing of it happens to work out perfectly," he said.

Gelato Mio's expansion plans follow the completion of its downtown store's first winter season.

"We were really scared about the winter time, so we had to be really creative," Drennen said, noting the business added hot chocolate and coffee gelato to compensate. "We essentially broke even."

Drennen declined to disclose the store's revenues to date, but he expects Gelato Mio will at least double its sales with the Harter House expansion and addition of the smoothie bar.[[In-content Ad]]

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