Here’s the scoop

New student-run business delivers gelato to residence halls

By on April 23, 2019

As the weather is heating up, so is a new student-run business determined to cool you down.

Dorm Dash QU is a dessert, specifically gelato, delivery company run by three Quinnipiac students. The company started less than two weeks ago, but the three boys behind the magic say business is running smoother than a spoonful of gelato.

“We’ve made enough to cover our start-up cost within the first few days,” said Vazul Hites, the mastermind behind the business. “We’re on track to be profitable long before the end of the year.”

Hites is a sophomore entrepreneurial business major and said he currently has 200 ideas in his head. He approached two other Quinnipiac students in March 2019 with a list of ideas and gelato delivery was the one they chose. Hites said this is ironic because he acted as a consultant for an on-campus gelato company last year.

“They said, ‘How did that go?’” Hites said. “I said, ‘Oh, it worked well.’ They said, ‘Can we do it again this year?’ I said, ‘Sure, we can try.’”

Last year, Gelato Q was shut down after violating Article 17 of the student handbook, according to a Chronicle article from May 2, 2018.

“The student handbook clearly states that the direct sale of merchandise or services without university approval is prohibited,” John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, said.

Hites said he personally was not running the business but rather helped with the numbers side of things.

“I was brought on as a consultant, kind of a CFO position because I am good with numbers and that’s pretty much as much as I got involved with,” Hites said.

The issue with Gelato Q was that the students running the business last year were storing the gelato in their dorm rooms and operating the business from the residence halls.

“That was the legality of it,” Hites said. “We were not allowed to store or solicit business within the res halls and that sort of thing.”

Hites said he and his two business partners, Patrick Higgins and Trevor Duffy, avoided this regulation by opting to store the gelato off-campus at The Blue Dodo, a hand goods store in Hamden.

“I walked down a mile that way and a mile that way and I spoke to every business until I found one that said yes,” Hites said. “We rent out a space large enough for our freezer to fit and we pay a fixed amount per month.”

Hites said the gelato comes from Gelato Giuliana which is a gelato shop in New Haven.

“It’s this Italian lady– it’s her own recipe,” Hites said. “She makes it herself in her factory, for about 12 years she’s been doing this.”

Once Hites or one of his two business partners receives an order, they spring into action. They have a two-man operation system which involves a runner and a communicator.

“The runner, as soon as we get an order in, will instantly take off on his bike towards the location,” Hites said. “The communicator will speak to the customer. Find out where they are, what they want, method of payment that sort of thing.”

Hites said deliveries take about 10 minutes on main campus and between 15 and 20 on York because of the steep bike ride up the driveway.

“One of the guys we deliver to actually offered me to come up into his dorm and offered me some water because apparently I looked so out of breath,” Hites said, laughing.

To order a pint, students can message @dorm_dash_qu on Instagram between the hours of 1 p.m. and 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3 p.m. to 3 a.m on Friday and Saturday. A pint is $9 which includes the delivery.

Sometimes the Instagram offers promotions such as $2 off or raffles for free pints. Junior mechanical engineering major Maddy Chiapperino, who follows the business on Instagram, won a free pint. She remembers the gelato from when it was Gelato Q and said it is just as good.

Jessica Ruderman
“I’ve had the gelato before when it was Gelato Q and it’s the exact same thing,” Chiapperino said. “Same packaging, same flavors– it tastes the same. It’s really creamy, same flavor and just better than ice cream.”

Hites said for most customers, the gelato is love at first taste.

“As soon as anyone tastes it, it’s ridiculous how often they’ll return,” Hites said. “We have several returning customers. Really nice guys.”

The business has just begun but Hites said he’s proud of the progress they’ve made.

“We’ll probably have around 300 followers on Instagram, we’ve probably sold between 30 and 40 pints,” Hites said. “It’s a great start.”

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