Craft Gelato - Naming Conundrum

In retrospect it all looks easy peasy. It should be. We have come up with two great names for our daughters, so how can this be difficult? But, oh, the agony. Literal. Agony.

A roller-coaster - at one point we had over 100 names on a list and none of them was good enough.

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Our first name was championed by partners-in-crime in my culinary management program at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in Manhattan. THE CHURN. It was simple, and strong, and fit our concept.  Think handcrafted, small batch gelato slowly churned on an elegant, old-school gelato machine.

We liked it.  A lot. So once we found our home in the Powerhouse Arts District in Jersey City, we ran with it!  We did a survey in our local circles and it was the clear winner.  Well, a version of it was.  By now it was shortened to CHURN.  

Yes!  We had our name.  Then came the technical nitty gritty of acquiring domain names and social media handles.  Oh, and applying for a trademark.

But wait!  Not so fast. You see, we’d done our homework on domain names and the social media stuff, but not on trademarks.  And it turns out that someone had already trademarked CHURN for gelato. OOPS!  [Note to all potential entrepreneurs: check if you can trademark your name BEFORE falling in love with it.  Here’s the link: ].  After all those months of agonizing deliberation, CHURN was a no-go.  

So back we went to the drawing board (kicking and screaming).  There was brainstorming, word association games, white boarding, word mapping, survey monkey research with friends. Reluctant to give up completely on the CHURN theme, we tried to see what we could salvage and came up with CHURNOLOGY.  A combination of CHURN and MIXOLOGY.  

I liked it, but my Marketing Department (i.e. my husband - Boris) didn’t. So we decided to start the naming process again.  Fresh. From scratch. A little more personal.  And this time, with a little help.

Enter Tamara Connolly.  Not only is she a friend and the mom of two awesome kids that happened to be in the same school as ours, she’s also the Principal and Creative Director at We Are How, a branding, design, and development studio right here in Jersey City.  Naming things was right up her alley!

Tamara brought new life to the process.  She helped us focus and refine our defining characteristics, then pointed us down the path we chose.

The result: BUCKET & BAY Craft Gelato Co.

Why BUCKET? That’s the wooden bucket sitting in the middle of my grandparents’ garage churning the best vanilla ice cream I remember from my childhood.  And why BAY?  Because early next year, that’s where you’ll find my own handcrafted gelato at 150 Bay Street, Jersey City, NJ. And we love it!

GURU RESOURCES for my fellow entrepreneurs:

Al Reins in Ad Age

Dan & Chip Heat in Fast Company

Independent branding, design, and development studio We Are How