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Fiasco Gelato CEO shares experience of Scaling with Purpose

James Boettcher to speak at January Sustainability for Breakfast

January 8, 2018 by Centaine Hlushak on Righteous Gelato

As his business continues to grow, Fiasco Gelato CEO James Boettcher feels it’s important to maintain the same culture and community it had when it started.

He will lead a Fireside Chat on the subject in the upcoming event, Sustainability for Breakfast presents: Scaling with Purpose, on January 26 at Brasserie Kensington.

“When you’re a small business, it’s easy to say something and not have to deliver on it. Now, we’ve got 50 employees and are in 1600 retailers across Canada, and are able to showcase more of what it took to do that,” James says.

James took over the gelato shop as it struggled in 2008, and since then Fiasco Gelato has become one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies – appearing on the Profit 500 list ranking #75 in Canada in 2015, and jumping up to #62 the following year. According to Canadian Business, the company has grown 716% in the past five years.

He credits the business’ growth to its unwavering commitments to practicing sustainability and community investment, honesty and integrity, and unwillingness to compromise on those values. “At the end of the day, if we make one bad decision, it’s going to reflect on everything we do.”

“I hate it when people say, ‘business is business,’ because it isn’t to me. In my experience, business is about building relationships. It’s honouring the fact that a community has given you an opportunity to live out something that was important not only to you, but to them as well.”

“It’s your inherent responsibility to look after that community.”

Fiasco Gelato is driven by its purpose, “enriching people’s lives, one spoonful at a time.” James refers to the book The Fred Factor: How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary by Mark Sanborn, about a mailman whose commitment to take care of his community inspires James to “dig a little deeper to change my mind about the work that I do.”

James hopes that this month’s event will lead employers to challenge themselves to “provide enough purpose and intention to their business and its people,” and for any employees in the audience that morning to “find a new voice” and bring these challenges to their employer.

“Everything we do has a greater purpose. All the little things matter.”


  1. Click here to register for Sustainability for Breakfast.
  2. Learn more about Fiasco Gelato’s values here.
  3. Visit Fiasco Gelato’s online store, or the Café.
  4. Connect with Fiasco Gelato on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  5. Check out Fiasco Gelato’s Sustainability Profile.