“You want the real reason? The real, real reason why we started?”
“We sort of had to.”
Husband and wife team Luca and Michela are remarkably frank about their quietly successful business venture. Launched back in 2015 after Michela lost her job, it was a chiefly practical decision. This no-nonsense outlook disguises however an intensely passionate and quality-driven production beneath.
“Every day, even twice a day, we are behind the machine”. Gelato is made fresh on the small premises at all hours, “in summer we sometimes have to re-make the same flavour every four or five hours to keep up with demand”. This relentless process could be made altogether less stressful with the use of preservatives, but Michela and Luca are happy to sacrifice sleep for the sake of natural quality.
They don’t succumb to tourist-trapping displays of mountainous gelato, instead opting for lidded metal containers to preserve quality naturally. “If you leave natural gelato out in the open for a couple of minutes it will start to lose its colour as the air and the light oxidise it. We don’t rely on preservatives to prevent this.”
This nature-heeding attitude is at the core of production. “Some days the fruit flavours will taste stronger, other days more delicate”. We only use fresh fruit so the taste each day depends on the raw ingredient we churn in the morning”.
Flavour combinations initially came about from curiosity, however demand has meant that their more inventive concoctions such as lemon and basil, gorgonzola honey and walnut, and dark chocolate orange and cinnamon have since become firm menu staples. The latter is a particular revelation. Made without milk and with a woody depth from the cinnamon, this is the dark, imperial cousin of Terry’s chocolate orange.
Arguably the best gelato in Perugia, Lick benefits from no great marketing initiative. “It creates extremely high expectations and requires funds which we don’t have”. “We try to create a humble product”, expanding little by little and using the positive word of mouth marketing of their happy customers rather than a well-orchestrated advertising campaign. “It is a slower growth strategy but perhaps one that is more solid. More substance, less appearance”.
With an ever-evolving menu of this calibre, word is sure to spread.
Corso Cavour, 40
+39 075 572 6917
Photos by Pippa Cole