Cincy's first gelato company expands with "Dipping Stand"

Matt Madison launched Madisono's, Cincinnati's first gelato company, in 2006. And now the entrepreneur has plans to open a gelato "dipping stand" at Madison's, his parents' Findlay Market store.

The name "Madisono" reflects the spirit of the product - an authentic Italian frozen dessert with Madison's earthy commitment to quality. The "earth" came naturally for Madison, working on Madisons Ridgeview Farm with his parents, Bryan and Carolyn, in Adams County. The certified-organic facility specialized in exotic mushrooms, which opened doors for Matt in Cincinnati's culinary community. For five years, Madison and his wife, Margot, lived at Ridgeview Farm. But raising a family brought them back to city life.

Gelato originally drew Matt in during a stint at a specialty food store his parents owned in Glendale. 

"Cincinnati has a strong ice cream tradition, of which I've always been a big fan. But I wanted to bring a frozen dessert concept that had lower butterfat than the super-premium ice creams." In 2006, Matt launched Madisono's Gelato; a year later, he closed the specialty-food store to focus on frozen confections.

Madison is proud of the artisan-style gelatos and sorbets he produces. "I love the ability to constantly be creative, and do something, flavor-wise, that wasn't already being done." The company’s offerings include black raspberry, lemon basil, and dark chocolate orange. Madison makes all bases from scratch and freezes the gelatos and sorbets in small batches.

Madisono's maximizes distribution opportunities by selling under three labels: Madisono's Gelato;  Sustain Brand, which specializes in distribution of locally-produced foods; and La Vida Italiana, the private label of the Dayton, Ohio-based Dorothy Lane Markets chain. "It’s a win-win," says Madison of his partnerships. "I don't lose my brand identity, but I get to be part of a larger brand concept."

Two employees staff the Glendale production facility and make deliveries to an expanding list of local restaurants, caterers, and vendors. Madison plans to hire one more for his latest venture, the dipping stand at Findlay Market, that will open in April.  

Rapid business growth and family life have packed the carton of Madison’s life to the brim. But he's enjoying the growth of a unique Cincinnati brand, and credits the relationships he built in his family's farm and store. "I've had a great education."

Writer: Elena Stevenson
Source: Matt Madison, owner, Madisono’s Gelato