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Five things I learned about Scaling with Purpose

Reflecting on January's Sustainability for Breakfast

February 2, 2018 by Centaine Hlushak on Righteous Gelato

On the morning of January 26th, more than 50 Calgarians huddled together over breakfast at Brasserie Kensington to listen to Fiasco Gelato CEO James Boettcher share his story of resilience and growth.

These are the five things I learned from Sustainability for Breakfast: Scaling with Purpose:

  • It’s not just if you show up, it’s how you show up: James attributes much of Fiasco Gelato’s success to their ability to show up. Whether it was to help repair the café after it was gutted by fire in December 2016, or relabeling misprinted ‘gluten-free’ jars by hand at Vancouver grocery stores, going the extra mile and showing empathy when stuff hits the fan maintains the integrity of the business.
  • Embrace a 5 Ps strategy: A riff on ‘the four Ps of marketing,’ – Product, Promotion, Price, and Place – Fiasco Gelato’s fifth P stands for Purpose. “Whenever we make a decision, we always make sure we understand the purpose for it,” James explained, adding that decisions like becoming B Corp-certified were not for financial gain, but because it was what they felt was right.
  • Community involvement is for more than public image: Authenticity is important when it comes to giving back. “It has to be more than a company saying ‘we’re giving away one cent from every million dollars we make’ – that doesn’t matter,” James said. Fiasco Gelato gives back to the community in a myriad of ways, including serving breakfast at a local elementary school and regular visits to the Drop In Centre, and the team has become heavily invested in the initiatives – an outcome that James encouraged the audience to consider.
  • Celebrate success: Every business faces challenges in its lifetime, both big and small. When a member of the audience asked how James keeps himself from “being pecked to death by ducks,” his answer was to “remember the big mountains you already climbed, and make time for whatever is most important for you.”
  • Swing for the fence: James references Wayne Gretzky, saying “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” From gaining the opportunity to speak at The Gathering in February alongside “cult brands” like Reddit, Coca-Cola, and PlayStation, or emailing his idol Richard Branson for fun, James is a firm believer in swinging for the fences.


  1. Don’t miss the next Sustainability for Breakfast: Five Tenets of Conscious Brands on February 27 at Hotel Blackfoot.
  2. Click here to learn more about Fiasco Gelato’s mission lock-in.
  3. Get your Fiasco Gelato online, at the Café, or any of these retailers.
  4. Connect with Fiasco Gelato on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and with James on LinkedIn.
  5. Check out Fiasco Gelato’s Sustainability Profile.