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◄  Back to Search Results  |  September 28, 2022

Small Business Spotlight: Gypsea Gelato

This month, we’re spotlighting Gypsea Gelato and their owners, Tim and Sandra Heaton. The Heatons were recently awarded the 2022 Small Business Persons of the Year Award for Hawaii County by the Hawaii Small Business Administration (SBA).

The husband and wife team of Tim and Sandra Heaton opened their first Gypsea Gelato shop in 2014 in a tiny space in Kealakekua, located on the Kona coast of the Big Island. They have since expanded on the Big Island, opening a second retail location in Kailua-Kona in 2017, and a third in the Kings' Shops at Waikoloa Beach Resort in 2021.

Small Business Spotlight: Gypsea Gelato

Gypsea Gelato produces their own gelato and sorbet, all locally at their Kealakekua site. They also serve locally sourced Italian-style pastries and specialty espresso and coffee drinks.

The ingredients they use for their gelato and sorbets are procured locally, organic whenever possible, and with the best quality available. Ingredients, such as ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, mint, lemon, orange and pineapple all come from farms on the Big Island. Their delicious locally produced products have earned them the Best of West Hawaii Award the last five years!

An important priority for Gypsea Gelato is helping to improve the communities in which they serve. For the past five years, they have set aside nearly $15,000 for monetary and in-kind donations. They make regular donations to Neuroblastoma Research and sponsor the Donkey Mill Art Center. They also sponsor numerous races and sporting events, including the 100% Pure Kona Half/Full Marathon and the Jingle Bell Beach Run 5K.

Like many other small business owners, The Heatons face unexpected challenges every day. They've seen it all in the last few years…from staffing issues, equipment breakdowns and lack of distributor inventory, to leaks, power outages and communication issues with vendors. But through it all, the Gyspea Gelato team continue to work hard to face new challenges every day, dealing with each issue as they arise, all while doing work that they love.

To learn more about Gypsea Gelato, visit