On October 20, 2011, one day prior to Obama signing the free trade agreement with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea, a group of NYU graduate students and myself visited a small business in Panama City, Panama called Granclement.
Granclement is this delicious ice cream shop operated and owned by a two married French ex-pats in the Casco Viejo section of Panama City, Panama. Alex and Aude de Beaulieu (the owners) gave a compelling presentation about their business and lots of free tastings of their delicious ice cream and sorbet selection.
|Alex and Aude de Beaulieu, Owners Granclement|
As Alex and Aude told their story, we learned about Aude’s love for ice cream, the significance of Granclement (Alex’s Grandfather’s last name) and their journey from from Paris to Costa Rica, then to Panama City.
We were moved by their confidence in Panama and the opportunity they saw in the mid-2000s, just a few years after Panama regained control of the Panama Canal. They discussed some of the challenges operating a retail business in Panama, specifically the labor laws and the accounting standards.
Only a small portion of their business is actually their ice cream shop. They supply their products to restaurants and pints and one-cups. A few days after visiting Granclement, we had dinner at La Posta just off Calle Uruguay in Panama City and sure enough they were serving a selection Granclement’s ice creams. Without hesitation, the entire group ordered ice cream.
Granclement is located on Avenida Central & Calle 3 in Panama City, Panama.
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