Sinelli Concepts International Inc., parent to the Which Wich sandwich brand, acquired gelato-focused Paciugo Franchising L.P. in January in a deal that gives the company more options for development, founder Jeff Sinelli said Monday.
Dallas-based Sinelli Concepts acquired the 32-unit Paciugo in January along with the company’s 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, Sinelli said. Terms were not disclosed.
“This was perfect acquisition for us, because it was in our backyard,” Sinelli said. “We are going to really get into the internals of the company. The model works. Now it’s updating, refining it and start growing it again.”
Paciuigo was founded in 2000 and has units in 10 states.
“It gives us diversification,” Sinelli said, whose company owns the two-unit Burguesa Burger brand as well as the 438-unit Which Wich.
“We’re developing our Supernova Coffee, which will launch later this year,” Sinelli added. “They are really four different categories: sandwiches, burgers, frozen dessert and now coffee.” The Supernova opening is expected in Dallas in the fourth quarter.
Sinelli foresees co-branding the Which Wich and Paciugo concepts, and also giving franchisees options for non-traditional locations like airports and shopping centers.
“Instead of just a one-trick pony with Which Wich, we can do several segments,” he said.
Paciugo units are flexible, he added. Existing units range from 120 to 1,400 square feet. The average check is $9.58. Individual units can pull from among 400 gelato flavors.
The best-selling gelato flavor, based on Italian ingredients, is Texas Pecan Sea-Salt Caramel, Sinelli said. Some new products will also be introduced, he said, adding: “We’ve already started with some plant-based ice creams and gelatos.”
Sinelli envisions “cross-pollination” of the brands, with perhaps a milkshake program co-branded with Burguesa Burger.
Paciugo will remain a distinct subsidiary, but it will use shared services with Which Wich such as accounting and purchasing, Sinelli said.
Besides gelato, Paciugo also offers products for various dayparts such as gelato pops, ice cream sandwiches, macarons, smoothies, shakes, coffee and pastries.
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