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Meet Petra Hart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Petra Hart.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I grew up in the hospitality industry working at my parent’s pizza restaurant in Fallbrook. When they bought the restaurant, I was nine years old. My first ‘job’ for Fallbrook Pizza Co was folding boxes every weekend night. I would fold 100 boxes, earning a penny a box and quickly turned that dollar into quarters where I played video games and drank soda until I was out and could fold more boxes. By the time I was 13, I was greeting guests and taking orders at the counter, and cutting and calling out pizzas when they came out of the oven. At 16, I was doing many managerial tasks like making the schedule, cash handling, working the pizza oven, and handling closing and opening procedures. It was such a huge part of my growing up, I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than hospitality as an adult.

I had the pleasure of joining the Gelato Paradiso team in 2013 to help open the San Diego market. I was introduced to the Gelato Paradiso management group through a contact at Mira Costa College where I was taking some hospitality management courses. My procurement teacher Bill Burk and I worked on a project during the class and we hit it off tremendously well (he is still one of my closest friends today). The downtown San Diego store was being built and the company was looking for a General Manager and Bill Burk was asked to find one. He offered me the job and I accepted with great enthusiasm and excitement. I have lived and breathed gelato since my first day on the job and have proven myself valuable to the company. I currently hold the Regional Manager position and oversee the Southern California stores as well as supporting the Austin, Texas location.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
There are always struggles along the way. Rarely is there a road without some potholes and speed bumps. Balancing work, family, school, and life is definitely something I always have to be conscious of. Managing multiple locations can take up a lot of real estate in my mind and in my heart. I have gotten much better at doing my job well while also having a really fulfilling and meaningful life outside of Gelato Paradiso.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I can confidently say that I have the best job in the world. I love working for Gelato Paradiso. Since our first shop in Newport Beach which opened in 1999, we have strived to bring smiles to our customer’s faces one cup, or fresh made waffle cone, at a time. We offer over 30 authentic gelato flavors, displayed in an artisanal manner and made fresh every day. Each location has its own gelato laboratorio where our artisans are busy making each of our flavors to perfection and placing them beautifully in pans for our customers.

My responsibilities include overseeing inventory, sales, customer service, quality control, research and development, training, gelato production, outside sales such as catering and wholesale, and manager development. Quality control means trying gelato every day and it is the absolute best part of my work day. Our Italian recipes are absolutely delicious and I enjoy having gelato and all that comes with a gelato shop (or 4) as my focus at work. I also have the honor of working with Pedro Quevedo, our production manager, who has been with Gelato Paradiso since its inception in 1999. He is the heart and soul of our company and I am proud to call him my friend and colleague.

Lastly, one of the benefits I enjoy working for Gelato Paradiso is the volunteer program the company offers. Each employee is supported and encouraged to volunteer in the communities where they work and live. The company gives $20 for each hour of volunteering that is done (up to 12 hours a year) and the employees designate where they would like the collected funds to go at the end of the year. We have raised lots of money for Voices for Children, volunteer fire departments, pet shelters, homeless organizations and other community volunteer programs. It has been a wonderful way to connect with fellow employees and our communities in a deep and meaningful way.

What are your plans for the future?
Gelato Paradiso is currently sponsoring me to attain a Business Admin degree. I feel very supported and believe that Gelato Paradiso is setting me up to live out my hopes and dreams which include retiring from Gelato Paradiso at a ripe old age sitting on the executive board with many new thriving locations. I am blessed to be trained by and to work with very successful, responsible, generous, fun, inspiring and altruistic people in the company. It would be an honor to continue with Gelato Paradiso for a long time to come.

Pricing:

  • $5.50 piccolo cup (small)
  • $6.00 medio cup (medium)
  • $6.50 grande cup (large)
  • $1.00 add fresh waffle cone

Contact Info:

  • Email: petra@gelatoparadiso.com
  • Website: www.gelatoparadiso.com
  • Instagram: @gelatoparadiso
  • Facebook: @gelatoparadiso
  • Twitter: @gelatoparadiso
  • Yelp: Gelato Paradiso Coronado, Newport, Laguna, Austin


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