WATCH ABOVE: Flames tore through the Fiasco Gelato headquarters Saturday morning. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, it’s not the first time fire has caused a set back for the local company.
CALGARY – A popular Calgary business has been damaged in a morning fire.
Flames tore through the Fiasco Gelato headquarters at the 200 block of 19 Street S.E. in Mayland Heights around 8 a.m. Saturday.
Fortunately no one was inside at the time.
The doors at Fiasco Gelato were supposed to be open at 11 a.m., instead, the owner got a phone call saying fire had torn through his shop.
“You are in a lot of shock. You’ve worked so hard to get to this place,” said James Boettcher, owner of Fiasco Gelato. “You’re hurt because it’s really tough on the team which has really banded together especially during the tough times, but very grateful no one was injured.”
Boettcher took over Fiasco Gelato in 2009. The local company has grown from a one man show to having 25 staff and selling the frozen treat across the country in restaurants and grocery stores.
“Our average age (of staff) is about 23 and everyone here is deeply invested in the success of this company. Mostly because we’re very purpose driven. We are very involved in the community,” said Boettcher.
Boettcher also owns ‘YYC Food Trucks’ and it was his trucks that were handing out food in areas hard hit by the 2013 floods.
He’s also a big supporter of the Calgary Folk Music Festival and all around civic booster.
“I’ve lived here my whole life and Calgary has given us the opportunity to do what we love everyday. So giving back as often as we can is a no-brainer,” said Boettcher.
Now, people are coming to his aid offering support, including clients, business groups and the mayor.
“It’s been amazing and I have a phone full of emails and text messages from some very special people. It’s warming to know that people care about us. United Way, Calgary Chamber, the mayor – everyone’s really in our corner and they know we battled some serious adversity in the past and they know we’ll make it through,” said Boettcher.
Vanessa Wilson drove all the way from Mackenzie Towne Saturday morning, just to get a sorbet treat for her birthday.
“Actually we come quite often. Why? It’s nice to have a place to go that you have some choice and having something dairy free and my daughter actually gets the gelato. Nice different flavors and it’s nice that it’s locally made,” said Wilson. It’s not the first time fire has caused a setback for the local company. It’s been a tough road for staff at Fiasco. Fire also damaged their previous location in Kensington a few years back, shortly after Fiasco took over ownership in 2009.Boetttcher promises he and his staff will pick up the pieces again, adding they’re hoping to be back on their feet early in the new year.The cause of the fire is not believed to be suspicious.