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Dolce Brooklyn is the real deal. We can’t stop dreaming about the Italian-style gelato we had while visiting this charming Red Hook spot in New York City. As an extra treat, we had the chance to speak with Dolce owner and long-time Otter user Pierre Alexandre.
Pierre showed us how he makes Dolce’s gelato with award-winning milk from the Hudson Valley, and let us taste-test a variety of sorbet, gelato, and macaron delights. Read on to learn how Pierre pivoted from a career in journalism to a restaurant industry success with Otter’s help.
“I am a US citizen, but I’m originally from France. I came to New York more than twenty years ago. I was a TV journalist, and my wife was a tech executive. We wanted to open a small business in the food industry. My wife and I love to travel to Italy and eat gelato, and she’s very talented at making it. We had trouble finding good gelato in New York, so we decided to open Dolce Brooklyn.”
“Today, we have our flagship location in Brooklyn, which is our only retail store with customers coming in. We also have online stores in Philadelphia and New Jersey open seven days a week. A newer, major part of our business is working directly with restaurant chefs to consult on gelato flavors. They come to us with their dessert menu, and we recommend gelato flavors to add.
Sometimes, we’ll create a specific flavor to match their menu. Now, we have more than 45 restaurant partners, more than double the number we had a year ago. We’re on-track to double again this year. It's very exciting to work with high-end chefs and to see that they like our gelato.”
“It won’t come as a surprise that our most popular flavor is ‘Serious Chocolate Gelato.’ ‘Fior Di Latte’ is also very well-liked. It’s a very simple Italian flavor: milk and cream, and I think it’s the best one. We have really good Salted Caramel, as well as Espresso gelato.
Olive Oil is the most surprising flavor for our customers – but once they try it, they like it. Our dairy-free customers love our sorbet. Our best-selling sorbet is Raspberry Mango Lemon, and one of my favorites is Orange Cardamom.”
“Here in Brooklyn, we receive the majority of orders in the late afternoon and evening, often after dinner and for parties. However, our online stores in Philadelphia and New Jersey are open until 3am, and most of the orders in these locations are placed later, between 11pm and 2am. These orders are usually from young people, often college kids.”
“Delivery has changed a lot because of the pandemic. Overall, it’s increased drastically and is a big part of our business now – especially in the winter when people prefer to stay inside and order from home. We have a lot of returning delivery customers.
A big difference between our in-person location orders and our delivery orders is the amount of food that customers get. When people come to Dolce Brooklyn, they often order a scoop of gelato, but when they place an order for delivery, it’s usually for 3 or 4 pints, along with macarons, etc.”
“Delivery is complicated for us because we have a lot of changing flavors. In the past, it was a nightmare to update each platform – specifically when flavors sold out. With Otter, we can manage our menus easier without inaccurate orders. When orders arrive, we're able to fulfill them. We don't have any of the problems we used to have after getting Otter.
Plus, we’re a seasonal business, so it’s very important for us to run promotions. We don’t use promotions in the summer because everyone wants gelato when it’s warm out. With Otter Promotions, we can push promotions during the slow winter season and pause them when we’re out of inventory. We also use Otter to monitor our margins in real time, which helps us manage our production volume. If we want to produce a new flavor, we can see how well it performs first, then stock the right ingredients for it.
Otter makes the delivery process smooth. We don’t have any more problems with missed orders. “
“We sell French macarons made fresh every day by a chef based out of New Jersey. We have a partnership with him. It’s a similar process to gelato that prioritizes small batches with fresh ingredients that are low in sugar but still flavorful.
When the shop is open in Brooklyn in the summer, we create a mini sundae which is extremely popular. It’s basically a small gelato with macaron as a topping – it’s always a best-seller!”
📍 Visiting the shop at 204 Sackett St, Brooklyn, NY 11231.
🍨 Ordering from the Dolce Brooklyn’s website, Doordash, Seamless, Grubhub, Caviar, Uber Eats, and more!
♥️ Follow Dolce Brooklyn on Instagram and Facebook
🎁 Buy a Dolce Brooklyn Gift Card
📈 Invest in Dolce Brooklyn
🍽 Get Catering from Dolce Brooklyn