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Launches a sustainable ice cream shop in Milan, Donatella De Giorgi, and today from his little Stickhouse he struggles with bureaucracies and sanctions that slow down green ideas as the summer progresses, the desire for ice cream increases. His have only the waste of a birch stick, coming from the Nordic countries and made without waste.
1) How and when was your business born? Why are you "green"?
After tasting them in Bologna, my son Giacomo and I fell in love with the quality of Stickhouse products and opened the first store in Milan on April 13th. We talk about fresh fruit with no added sugar for sorbets, milk and cream for creams, coverings with 73% chocolate and high quality grains. Stickhouses are springing up all over Italy, a brand new one in Milan, in addition to ours in Via Montebello. And gradually others will be born, I guess.
2) Only the products are "green" or is there something else?
There's more. For example, we try to instruct our customer to bring back the freeze bags that we almost never charge because they are reused thus avoiding waste. Furthermore, the take-away boxes have been made of compressed polystyrene precisely to avoid "volumes" to be moved. We avoid having containers or glasses and the only "waste" is the stick made of birch, coming from Nordic countries and made without waste.
3) How much does it cost to pay attention to the environment? And how far does it affect the customer?
Being attentive to the environment certainly requires higher costs and greater efforts, this also applies to organic fruit or by air (to have a ripening on the plant and not on a ship). "High quality" milk has a higher cost than normal. Every day we also take care of "selecting" the disposal: latex gloves, on the one hand, napkins on the other, and so on. Our effort is to keep costs low and not weigh on the customer: how can I tell the customer that a box of compressed polystyrene costs me € 3.50?
4) The bicycle distribution project… what does it consist of?
We liked the idea of being able to travel around the city with an ecological vehicle, which would not make noise and distribute genuine products by wandering through the streets of Milan, deciding the interesting areas week by week: schools, events, parks ... The bicycle would also be available for private parties: we have already received requests for weddings, oratories and for demonstrations in the city's cultural centers.
We could have given our money for charity fundraising.
5) Impossible in Milan?
Unfortunately for now, yes. The continuous municipal resolutions of recent years have practically had the effect of banning this trade on 80% of the streets of Milan: just consult the list of bans to realize it !!! Those who have the license enjoy the advantage of having no competitors while normal traders find themselves even at 100 meters a shop equal to theirs, therefore, considering the high cost of the vehicle that must be in accordance with the law, refrigerated, guarded and recharged, we are blocked , for the moment. And then there is a great deal of bureaucracy also for the itinerant peddler's license and very long waiting times.
6) What other "catches" block green ideas?
Surely all businesses are sensitive to the huge bureaucracy and "too interpretable" rules. You continue to be afraid of being sanctioned because in the same municipal office or at the chamber of commerce, 3 employees of the same office can even give you 3 different answers! An "eco" shop still has very high costs and if it is restructured using "eco" materials it becomes madness. Then let's take as an example the pleasure of exhibiting a plant or, given the ice cream theme, mini fruit plants such as climbing strawberries, to embellish the frame of a shop: 16 pages to download from the Internet, consultants to call to forward the practices ... but how much do these plants, which are also stolen or vandalized, cost us in the end?
If I want to put a litter bin so that people don't throw paper or an ashtray for butts on the street, either I do it on "my" step or I am punishable.
7) What are your future projects?
It will start soon on book crossing, then we will see, but to avoid large bureaucracies, I have chosen not to have a larger space with people staying inside for administration. We will carry out operations related to "mini sticks" for younger children who cannot eat the whole product and also help parents because they have "a low cost".
Interview byMarta Abbà