Paciugo Gelato & Caffè Ranked Among the Franchise Elite in Entrepreneur's Prestigious 32nd Annual Franchise 500

Authentic Italian Gelato Chain Recognized for Fast, Outstanding Growth

DALLAS, TX, December 31, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Paciugo Gelato & Caffè was ranked 285 in Entrepreneur's 32nd Annual "Franchise 500," the world's most comprehensive franchise ranking. It's the brand's fourth appearance on the list. The national gelato chain is known for delighting consumers' taste buds with authentic, handcrafted, artisanal Italian gelato, sorbet and hot/cold specialty drinks, and has steadily increased its ranking every year.

"The fact that we have steadily moved up in the Franchise 500 rankings year after year is a testament to our economic strength and our stability as a franchise system," said Keith Albright, Chief Operating Officer of Paciugo Gelato & Caffè. "Paciugo Gelato & Caffè continues to grow despite the current economic environment, and that speaks volumes about our franchisees, our management team and, above all else, our award winning gelato, sorbet and specialty drinks. We are proud of our accomplishments and look forward to the many opportunities that we've already identified for 2011 and beyond."

The rankings for all 500 companies are determined using an exclusive formula that takes into account objective and quantifiable factors. An independent CPA analyzes all financial data. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. All franchises are given a cumulative score, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order.

"Franchises are not only a great avenue to business ownership for many with a thirsty entrepreneurial spirit, but they're also capable of playing a key role in carrying us into a growing economy," said Amy Cosper, VP and editor in chief of Entrepreneur. "The $153.7 billion in total payroll and 7.9 million jobs they account for speak to that loud and clear, and the ones that made this year's Franchise 500 are a great place for anyone to start their search for the right business."

During the past 10 years, Ugo Ginatta, co-founder and CEO of Paciugo Gelato & Caffè and his wife, Cristiana, and son Vincenzo, have grown the Paciugo brand to more than 40 franchised locations in the United States and Mexico. In addition, the company has developed a world-class manufacturing and distribution infrastructure which delivers the highest quality ingredients and other products to Paciugo franchise owners. Most recently, the company announced international expansion plans to bring its traditional, handcrafted, artisanal Italian gelato, sorbet and hot/cold specialty drinks to Asia-Pacific markets, beginning with South Korea.

Paciugo Gelato & Caffè freshly handcrafts more than 30 flavors each morning in small batches, using wholesome ingredients such as whole pasteurized milk, cane sugar, hand-squeezed fruit juices and seasonal fruit from local farmers, chocolate from Belgium and Italian hazelnuts, pistachios and candied amarene cherries. In addition to gelato, the brand's menu features a wide selection of sorbets, all-natural, 100% Arabica coffees and espresso-based drinks, as well as gelato-based specialty drinks and desserts, and premium hot chocolate.

To view Paciugo Gelato & Caffè in the full ranking, visit http://www.entrepreneur.com/franchise500. Results can also be seen in the January issue of Entrepreneur.

About Paciugo Gelato & Caffè

Paciugo Gelato & Caffè was founded in 2000 when Ugo, Cristiana and Vincenzo Ginatta, inspired by their passion to bring authentic Italian gelato to customers outside of Europe, moved to Dallas, Texas and opened their first gelateria. Since then, the company has grown to 43 franchised locations across the United States and Mexico. Each Paciugo Gelato & Caffè offers over 30 flavors of gelato that are handcrafted with love every morning at each neighborhood location. Cristiana has developed more than 350 recipes, including flavors ranging from Mediterranean Sea Salt Caramel, Blackberry Cabernet, Tiramisù, and Fondente Extra Dark Chocolate to more unusual flavors like Banana Beet and Black Pepper Olive Oil. The menu also includes all-natural, Fair Trade, 100% Arabica coffee and espresso-based drinks, as well as gelato-based specialty desserts. For more information, visit http://www.paciugo.com.

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