Customer Story: Hannah Wood of Little Lato Gelato

Gelato entrepreneur rolls out Aider, with expectations of more beach time!

For Hannah growing up on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula just north of Auckland was all about a beach life – and ice cream!

“I just love ice cream,” Hannah laughs. “But I didn’t think I would end up starting Little Lato and making Italian-style ice cream.”

Little did she know that in 2019 she’d be opening her second ‘Little Lato’ gelato shop in the Wynyard Quarter in Auckland’s CBD, building a business and dabbling in AI technology and digital assistance.

It all started with ice cream dreams.

Hannah left KingsWay School to do her undergraduate degree in Food Technology at Massey Albany. That’s where she first heard about Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy.

First honing her skills at Much Moore ice cream, then gaining her master’s degree with a thesis in probiotic ice cream while at Tip Top, Hannah then scooped up an NZ Institute of Food Science and Technology scholarship for personal development.

“It allowed me to visit a range of Fonterra offices and suppliers overseas, but especially to go to Carpigiani. That’s where I really was in my happy place.” 

Traditional gelato uses dairy ingredients in a denser and more intensely flavoured way than NZ style ice cream. However, with an eye on new dietary trends, Hannah now also whips up a versatile range of non-dairy gelato, creating flavours like choc sorbet, mango lassi, peanut butter chocolate, and raspberry lamington.

Hannah’s first gelato shop and food-grade manufacturing site was established at the renowned collective Crave Café on Morningside Road, not far from where she lived.

She is now running Little Lato full-time with big growth-plans. And, as a result, she has found herself doing what most of New Zealand small business owners do – flat out doing just about everything in the business, with not much time for anything else.

Being an entrepreneur comes with its challenges and the facts for small businesses like Hannah’s can be grim – nearly 50% of SMEs in New Zealand fail within the first two years.

Hannah isn’t one to lean-back, she’s leaning in — adopting technology as a way to make better decisions and get ahead. 

Enter her new tech “employee” – mobile app Aider ai. Hannah’s introduction to Aider came after she was invited into Xero’sRewired” co-working space. While sorting finances is vital, getting some balance in life is equally so and it was suggested to her that Aider and its artificial intelligence-backed engine could become her time-saving hero.

By using Aider to consolidate data from her business and from external sources such as weather and event apps and social media feeds, Hannah would be able to quickly get a grip on her business – and ultimately free up some time for her life outside of the business.

Although she just getting started with Aider, Hannah is already receiving some helpful prompts from Aider such letting her know what the gross profit was last week. She’s well connected to Aider’s Customer Success team and is actively learning for maximum effect on her mobile.

“I am a visual learner so it’s going to be good to have the Aider team help me fine-tune.” 

“I’ve set up regular weather and events updates in Aider too. This is so important as fine weather means more sales. And if I can keep my finger on events it means that I can offer to make bespoke gelato, like the green tea and salted lychee flavours I made for Chinese New Year celebrations.”

Hannah says just like her gelato a small taste of Aider has left her wanting more … especially if it means more beach time this summer! Where do you Aider, Hannah?!