[Update] Gelato Messina’s Declan Lee on creating Australia’s best gelato experience | #593

[Update] Gelato Messina’s Declan Lee on creating Australia’s best gelato experience | #593

I love Gelato Messina. I love their products. The restraint shown when it comes to their branding. Their unapologetic, and quite noisy customer experience. Their alternative approach to running a business. And so much more. And between you and I, I’m pretty sure their Hokey Pokey flavour is made in Heaven! It’s a deliciously creamy episode 593 of The (12 year-old, award-winning) Small Business Big Marketing podcast.


A little more about Gelato Messina’s Declan Lee …


Alright, time for a bit of fanboying!

Declan Lee is the co-founder of Gelato Messina – a gelato chain with 23 stores nationally and one in Honkers. Personally I think it’s the best gelato brand in Australia.

Unlike most gelato shops with their fluorescent lighting, sticky floors, and basic flavours made in some unknown factory, Gelato Messina stores are more like a mini nightclub … dimly lit with music blaring, funky seats to enjoy 40 to-die-for flavours all made in-house from scratch, and a staff culture that breeds fun and innovation.

Declan first appeared on this show five years ago (episode 539 to be exact). They’ve grown a lot since then, so I thought it time for a bit of an update to find out what’s been working.   

This time around, Declan:

  • Shares how brutal honesty drives all his business decisions
  • Describes their highly effective innovation process
  • Explains the role of music in branding
  • Explains why owning as much of the supply chain is good for business
  • And I share a customer complaint I made on the weekend for Declan to explain how he would have handled it

Now, you will hear a bit of background noise. Gelato Messina is bursting at the seams and is about to relocate to bigger premises. But for this interview, Declan (like all good founders) finds himself sitting right amongst his team.

I started off asking Declan how he and his business partners aren’t all 200KG given just how unbelievably delicious the Gelato Messina is …



Other interviews with product-based business owners …


Interview with comedian Richard Stubbs

Interview with The School of Hard Knock Knock’s Morry Morgan

Interview with comedian turned mortgage broker Marty Vids


Resources mentioned in this episode …


How to create a high-converting website with Greg Merrillees

Take this quiz to see where our website is underperforming

Do you make this mistake with your content marketing?



Last Week’s Episode of The Small Business Big Marketing Podcast


Challenging everything lead to creating Quiz Meisters, Australia’s leading pub-trivia brand | #592


Thanks for tuning in. May your marketing be the best marketing.






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