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Scooping Up Success

The Gomez Siblings’ Tale of Frozen Desserts and Entrepreneurial Triumph

By ICIC | June 19, 2024

Haydee Gomez, CEO, Bosco Frozen Desserts

Haydee Gomez was not expecting a life-changing experience when she accepted a part-time job at a gelato shop after moving from Venezuela to Toronto, Canada. However, her time in that shop changed her life. It was in that gelateria that she uncovered her passion for gelato and the joy of serving smiling customers. She was fortunate enough to join the company when it had only one location and participate in its growth to multiple locations. She loved working there so much that she began to dream of owning a gelateria.

Gomez eventually moved from Canada to Miami, Florida, for her family. The move also presented her with the opportunity to earn her MBA, and in 2015, she graduated from Millennia Atlantic University in Doral. Coming from a family of construction business owners, it made sense to earn this degree. However, Haydee’s family was shocked to discover that her business plans deviated from the family traditions into a completely different industry. Most were very skeptical when she announced her plans to open a gelato shop, but one family member found the plan intriguing enough to join her in the venture.

Sibling Success
Ezequiel Gomez, Gelato Master Chef, Bosco Frozen Desserts; Photo credit: Bosco Factory

Haydee and her brother, Ezequiel Gomez, started their business small. Launching as Gelato Gourmet in 2014 while Hayee was still in graduate school, the siblings began by visiting farmers markets throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties, where they sold their frozen treats. In many ways, Haydee considers this start to have been just what they needed. She describes it as a large-scale marketing test where she received immediate feedback from customers. It was at this stage that the Gomez siblings were able to hone the gelato flavors that helped move the company to the next level.

With this key component of the business in place, Haydee and Ezequiel saw rapid growth. Just one year after their launch, they opened a retail location and then began to franchise the business. The siblings attribute the success of the company and their partnership to operating from their individual strengths. Haydee is a self-proclaimed numbers woman who acts as the company’s CEO, managing the operations of the business. Her brother is a creative in the kitchen and the company’s Gelato Master Chef. He has won numerous awards for his unique gelato recipes and ranks among the top 30 Gelato Chefs in the world.

The Flexible CEO

Although business was booming, the 2020 pandemic took a toll on the company. Haydee, like so many business owners, was forced to make a choice: pivot or close. She chose to pivot and began the process of transferring the business model from a retail focus to a manufacturing focus. The company’s manufacturing operations took off. In 2022, Haydee sold Gelato Gourmet and launched Bosco Frozen Desserts. Today, Bosco is known as a local artisan frozen dessert manufacturer that produces gelato, popsicles, and frozen desserts served in more than 150 high-end restaurants and hotels in Miami.

A Community of Food Entrepreneurs

“Santander’s Cultivate Small Business is the perfect program for anyone doing business related to food.”

Even with the incredible knowledge gained from her MBA program and the rapid success experienced at the launch of the company, Haydee chose to take advantage of every opportunity to expand her business knowledge, including enrolling in Santander’s Cultivate Small Business (CSB) program. CSB is a 12-week program designed to provide early-stage woman-, BIPOC-, and immigrant-owned food businesses in under-resourced neighborhoods with industry specific education, networks, and mentoring. The program partners with ICIC for outreach and recruitment and with Babson College to provide instructors for the classes. Gomez graduated from the inaugural Miami cohort of CSB in 2022 and expressed, “Santander’s Cultivate Small Business is the perfect program for anyone doing business related to food. It’s like a small MBA where everyone is dealing with the same issues, everyone is working 24/7 and working when others are enjoying life, which is not something you find in programs that include businesses from other industries.”

Haydee Gomez (left) sharing samples of Bosco’s Gourmet Popsicles

Haydee was awarded more than $10,000 in a grant from Santander following her completion of the program. She used the funding to invest in critical machinery needed for the business. But earning the grant gave her more than just capital. She states, “It pushed me because I knew that Santander and Babson were validating my business.”

Childhood Nostalgia and Culinary Innovation

The Gomez siblings continue to innovate, grow, and adapt Bosco to adapt to market demands. They are excitedly preparing for the launch of a product line of 7 frozen treats designed to connect customers with their childhood through nostalgic flavors that remind the siblings of their Venezuelan upbringing. Some of the mouthwatering options include the Passion Bom, a passion fruit and condensed milk popsicle; the Batilato, a grape-infused gelato with delightful surprises of bubble gum waiting at the bottom; and the Cocolato, handmade coconut gelato served in natural coconut shells. These treats will be available at retail locations.

Attendees at the 2023 ICIC Annual Conference enjoying samples of Bosco Frozen Desserts Gourmet Popsicles

With a decade of experience now under their belts and having successfully operated in the retail and manufacturing arenas, Haydee and Ezequiel are finding ways to give back in their respective areas of expertise. Ezequiel is an official gelato professor for Carpigiani Gelato University, and Haydee has taught Small Business Management courses at her alma mater, Millennia Atlantic University. To fellow entrepreneurs looking to grow she advises, “Remove yourself from the operation. That will allow you to see the whole picture and grow your business.”

About Santander’s Cultivate Small Business

Santander’s Cultivate Small Business (CSB) is a 12-week dynamic education and training program focused on helping early-stage women, immigrants, and BIPOC entrepreneurs build and sustain food-related businesses in under-resourced neighborhoods. ICIC is a strategic partner in this initiative, along with CommonWealth Kitchen and Babson College, whose MBA professors teach the course. Through live virtual classes, CSB provides participants with connections to industry experts, a network of fellow food entrepreneurs, and the opportunity to receive capital grants ranging from $2,500 to $13,000. Fully funded by Santander, the program annually supports 180 entrepreneurs across two cohorts spanning six major markets: Dallas, Massachusetts, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Rhode Island.


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