Like it. Love it. Gotta have it. Cold Stone seeks to find the middle ground, offering quality ice cream, neither hard or soft serve ice cream. Headquartered in Scottsdale, this Arizona company didn’t start there. They grew into it. The first creamery opened in 1988 in Tempe, Arizona. Two years later, the second creamery opened in Phoenix. This is just the beginning for the company who would become a franchise, sing to its customers, and create their own original recipes. It’s corporate offices are now in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Donald and Susan Sutherland wanted ice cream that wasn’t hard-packed nor soft-serve. They wanted something smooth. They decided to open their own store, selling creamy, super premium ice cream in Tempe, Arizona. The store modeled itself after Steve Herrell’s business model from Steve’s Ice Cream. Customers chose their ice cream flavor and then choice from a large variety of mix ins. This included candy, nuts, syrup, fruit, and brownies. The mix-ins were folded into the ice cream on a frozen stone slab, hence the name.
They introduced their “originals” recipes for ice cream, milkshakes, cakes and sandwiches.
In 1995, the first franchise store was opened in Tucson, across University of Arizona. By 2001, there were 225 stores nationwide. There has been franchise controversy, one the New York Times covered in detail. Franchisees claim to many too fast have hurt sales, forcing many out of business from falling profits.
Cold Stone Today
Today, the company has over more than 900 independently owned stores in 47 states. The ice cream is handcrafted daily. Customers order from a menu or make their own “creation” from flavors and mix ins. Flavors change and samples are encouraged. Crew members entertain tipping guests with a quirky song, putting a smile on everyone’s face. Current headquarters include a classroom, a development kitchen and a training store. They have partnered with Jell-O and Jelly Belly for flavoring. They have been featured as a video game, Cold Stone Creamery, Scoop It Up, for the Nintendo Wii.
ColdStone has many partnerships or affiliations. They partner with Canada’s coffee chain, Tim Hortons. This partnership allows ColdStone into Canada and Tim Hortin’s into the United States. This partnership also allowed for a dual store to be opened up in New York’s famous Times Square. Another partnership with Soup Kitchen International and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory gave them company an even larger national presence. Rocky Mountain saw an immediate increase in sales after the co-branding.
ColdStone is the sixth largest brand of ice cream and has stores worldwide. They have added online cake ordering to their norm, finding most people preorder at night, when life settles down.
They are currently looking into expanding into a bakery and coffee shop. This allows them a competitive edge with competitors during the colder months, particularly in the colder states. They will be continuing to add more flavors, more cakes, and create a member card for in-store rewards. E-mail me if you’d like anymore information regarding Cold Stone Creamery Corporation!