About 3 years ago, Eric Emmert and his wife Kelly got the entrepreneurial itch.
He was commuting from Westport to New York, where he traded high-yield bonds. She worked in sales and marketing.
They looked at various options, including a medical supply company. Meh.
Then they found a gelato business. Bingo!
“Everyone loves the ice cream guy,” Eric notes.
Eric and Kelly Emmert, and their gelato.
At the end of 2016, the couple bought Cold Fusion. The Massachusetts-based firm makes and distributes gelato and sorbet — all by hand, using all-natural, locally sourced ingredients. There’s a line of vegan sorbets, and every item is kosher-certified.
The website explains: “The result of all of this love and dedication is a silky, cool, uplifting fusion of flavor.” (Eric’s favorite: salted caramel chunk.)
A Cold Fusion sampling.
“Gelato is healthier than ice cream,” Eric says. “There’s less fat and fewer calories. And the taste lingers more.”
Sure, it’s a great, fun product. But the couple did not sit around smacking their lips. They restructured Cold Fusion, and grew it.
Working with a new distributor, they’re marketing Cold Fusion up and down the East Coast. You can find it here at Mystic Market and Rizzuto’s; it’s also sold at Walrus + Carpenter restaurant in Bridgeport, and other restaurants around Hartford and Providence. There’s a retail store in Newport, Rhode Island.
The factory is in Massachusetts. Eric and Kelly hope to move the facility closer to home. “I’ve looked at half the vacant spaces in town,” he says.
In their 13 years in Westport, raising 2 daughters here, both have sunk roots into the community. Eric has coached basketball and softball, and been an age-group commissioner. Kelly has coached basketball and volleyball, been a Girl Scout leader, and a member of the Westport Young Woman’s League.
The owners donate Cold Fusion products to local functions, like Homes with Hope’s White Party, the Staples High School PTA holiday lunch and Kings Highway Elementary School’s 5th grade moving-up ceremony.
Gelato is now Eric’s full-time business. Kelly continues in her corporate job, but adds her marketing acumen to Cold Fusion.
The Emmerts are so excited for future growth, they can almost taste it.
Something they might not be able to say if they’d bought that medical supply company, instead of this one 3 years ago.