Get the scoop on AL Gelato!

Get the scoop on AL Gelato!

Promising the best gelato in Belfast, AL Gelato is ensuring that more consumers can try it out for themselves, having officially launched the wholesale arm of their operation. Founder Alastair Macaulay tells NR why 2023 was the ideal year to make the move.

“Wholesale has always been in our plan and we felt that this year was the perfect year to enter the market,” said Alastair.

“We see the wholesale wing of the brand as a great way to develop our brand and we can touch areas of Ireland where we could never have imagined we would ever be. For example, we are meeting with a number of shops in the south of Ireland who are interested in bringing us into their stores.”


AL Gelato first opened in 2017 on the Ormeau Road after Alastair was inspired while on a European cycling trip and came home determined to make amazing gelato and create a place where people could gather together and make friendships in a safe environment.

Since then, he has expanded the business, with two units opening in Ballyhackamore and the Lisburn Road in 2019 and 2021 respectively and now has 18 staff working across the three stores. Then 18 months ago, they moved their Ormeau Road shop some 100 yards in order to give them more capacity for production.

Alastair said that since opening his first shop in 2017, the response has been “amazing”.

“We are very much a Belfast brand and love to tell people about our story and indeed what an amazing city Belfast is,” he said.

“The response from other businesses has also been amazing – I feel that in a small city like Belfast, everyone wants to help each other. The more independents we have and can hold onto in the city, the better.

“My biggest fear for Belfast in the years to come is that the big corporates are going to start squeezing the independents out. I think the council and powers that be, need to be very careful not to chase the quick pound. Independents are in this for the long haul and will engage with the community, whereas the large corporates, like it or not, are very footloose.”

‘Wholesale has always been in our plan and we felt that this year was the perfect year to enter the market’

Alastair said the key to AL Gelato’s success was staying true to their brand.

“We concentrate on making the best gelato with the best ingredients, which makes everyone happy. You want a low-fat, low-carb frozen dessert, buy a tub of Halo Top in the supermarket. You want a grass-grazed dairy product using local ingredients, which tastes amazing and has good fats, come to us.

“Likewise, our dairy-free range uses the best oat milk from a farm in Cambridgeshire.”

It is the focus and dedication of getting the best ingredients that makes their flavours stand out, Alastair said, most notably AL Gelato’s most popular flavours, honeycomb and pistachio.

“We have sourced our pistachio nuts from Sicily. On the slopes of Mount Etna, they grow the best pistachios on the planet,” said Alastair.

“This variety of pistachio grows in the rugged landscape of Bronte, where the volcanic soil provides the perfect environment for pistachio trees to flourish. There are mass-produced cheaper alternatives with loads of additives, but for us, this 100% pure pistachio is worth its weight in gold. Grab a pot from one of our retailers or in store and you’ll see exactly what we are rambling on about!”


Their top selling flavours – pistachio, honeycomb, vanilla bean, strawberry, raspberry ripple and vegan biscotti – make up their wholesale range of flavours which they provide to their stockists.

“We have started out in a number of local independents in Belfast. Based on volume, we supply a brand new fully wrapped freezer, which stocks our product only. Once filled, it looks so slick, with the blocky pastel colours our designer, Patrick Coyle has come up with.

“Our first store we agreed with was Madigan Court on the Antrim Road. Paul and Paddy from the store have been amazing to work with, so we were super excited to launch in store with them.

‘We’ve worked hard as a team to get our brand to where it is today and we feel it is important that our retail partners value the brand in the same way as we do’

“So far, response has been fantastic and we are getting a lot of enquiries from big and small stores across the north. Right now, we are in a nice position that we are able to choose who we work with.

“We’ve worked hard as a team to get our brand to where it is today and therefore we feel it is important that our retail partners value the brand in the same way as we do. Hence why we are working with local independent retailers at the minute.”

While they are currently producing from their original manufacturing premises, Alastair said they will need to expand to larger premises in the future.

“We are handpacking and producing everything by hand, so it’s labour intensive, but it guarantees an absolutely premium product at the end of the process.

“As we grow, even with just the shops alone, we are working our current unit hard. So, we are actively looking to offsite production into a purpose-built unit in the near future.”

You can find out more by visiting, alternatively find them on Instagram @al.gelato or email