Jump into something fun
“It’s a culture of fun,” says Trampoline Gelato’s CEO Amanda Walton, describing the company. Even the name was carefully selected to reflect this. “We went through a list of names when we first started, and decided we wanted something that reflected a feeling rather than a product – and what says summer fun more than a trampoline?” Trampoline could have gone with a name that described the product, and despite considering suggestions such as Scoop, instead opted for their current name. “It conjures up memories of hot summers, fun with friends and feeling as though you haven’t a care in the world – the very same feeling that you get from eating a Trampoline Gelato,” she says. When asked about the brand’s trademark t-shirts, which feature irreverent, cheeky sayings across them, Walton returns the question with one of her own: “They are great aren’t they?” she says with a laugh. Employees are even given the opportunity to come-up with new sayings for the shirts and this helps create a work culture that is positive, fun, and inclusive.
Mixing it up
The Trampoline concept was born when parent company, Burra Foods, decided to develop a new product with a retail presence. “We opened our first store in April 2004, and have been expanding ever since,” says Walton. Each storefront displays an eclectic mix of the bohemian and the trendy, the frivolous and the humorous, and has attracted customers and employees with the same attitude.
By 2009, Trampoline had expanded their operations interstate with the opening of a store in Indooroopilly, Queensland, and continued along the same path in 2010 with their expansion into Darwin. They currently operate a mix of corporate owned and operated stores as well as a number of franchised operations throughout Victoria, Darwin, and Queensland. Walton says they choose the locations of their stores and those that apply to become franchises after a great deal of thought. “We are fully Australian owned and operated, and I think that it is something people are very happy to hear,” she says.
In the scheme of things, it’s a healthy treat
Another one of the things that Walton says people are happy to hear is that their gelato contains less fat and more wholesome ingredients compared to ice cream. “By Australian law, to call something ice cream it has to be made with at least 10 percent fat, but our sorbet contains zero percent fat and our gelato contains only around six percent fat, so it’s a great healthy treat” says Walton.
The success that Trampoline has enjoyed comes from a corporate culture that encourages quality, uniqueness, and freshness. Every day, Burra Foods sources the milk for Trampoline’s dairy base from local Gippsland farmers. This is in stark contrast to a number of their larger competitors who rely on powdered milk which is harder to rehydrate, straightens out proteins, kills vitamins, and produces a slightly burnt taste. Walton also points out that Australian milk does not contain growth hormones, unlike that of America which contains rBGH, an artificial growth hormone used to increase milk production.
Where possible, Trampoline uses local ingredients, although sometimes the best do come from overseas, says Walton, using their Belgian couverture chocolate as an example. Freshness is guaranteed through their freezing process, and she also refers to their gelato as “artisan”, indicating that most of the work is done on site at the storefront – or more accurately, in the back rooms of their franchises. Recipes are tried and tested at the store level, and menus are set across the brand. However, managers can select the flavours to customise their cabinet according to their customer’s favourite mixes and popularity, and are only limited by the ingredients on hand.
With this effort they have garnered more than a few awards. The Dairy Industry Association of Australia (DIAA) has bestowed on them both state and national awards for their innovative use of flavours and excellent products. Their other awards have put them on the map as a fun place to get a treat – they have even begun to attract tourists and those on working vacations. “We don’t go out to actively recruit backpackers, but in some areas, they come at just the right time when we need extra seasonal work,” says Walton. Their staff members are generally young, energetic and innovative in their own ways.
Working for the community
Trampoline Gelato also takes its social responsibility seriously, and has involved itself in charities and community events that are positive, whimsical, and caring. Trampoline is involved with Challenge, who support children affected by cancer, supplying them with their gelato to distribute at the wards of the Royal Children’s Hospital. They also sell Slap Bands at store level to help raise money for Challenge. The brand also supports Mirabel, who assist children now in kinship care due to parental illicit drug use, by providing gelato to their events, as well as Drawtism, an annual event that brings people together to draw, have fun and support people living with autism. For a myriad of other charity and community events they provide gelato and prize vouchers. Through an Animal Adoption Program at the Melbourne Zoo, Trampoline supports a Short Beaked Echidna. They also have a number of partners that they support when they can, and do what they can for the community. Wherever Trampoline Gelato is, you can be sure that there is a sense of community and fun.
Doing what you can for the community means doing what you can for the environment, says Walton. Trampoline participates in annual Earth Hour events, but more importantly they ensure that their packaging is either recyclable or biodegradable. “We use wooden paddles made from a sustainable source and a lot of our cups are made from corn-starch, meaning we aren’t adding to a pollution problem,” says Walton. Even if the cups make it to a land fill, they produce no toxic by-products, and decompose quickly.
Trampoline gelato is made on site with specialised equipment from Italy. “All of our products are made fresh on site daily with the best all natural, real ingredients,” says Walton. She also says that many of their specialised ingredients are sourced right from their country of origin rather than trying to find cheap substitutes. This means that when local ingredients give an edge, they are used, and when international ones are required for authenticity as well as taste then they are used. Their relationship with Burra Foods, a dairy business located in Gippsland, south eastern Victoria, gives them excellent access to some of the best dairy producers in the country, and Walton truly believes that you can taste the difference the care, imagination, and the ingredients make in every Trampoline Gelato.