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February 10, 2009

Wikipedia: Cold Stone Creamery

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A neon sign for the Cold Stone Creamery at Irvine Spectrum in Irvine, California.

The Cold Stone Creamery in Hudson, Ohio.

Cold Stone Creamery is an American ice cream parlor chain based in Scottsdale, Arizona.[1]



The company was co-founded in 1988 by Susan and Donald Sutherland (unrelated to actor Donald Sutherland), who sought ice cream that was neither hard-packed nor soft-serve. Publicity materials describe it as “smooth and creamy super-premium ice cream.” Cold Stone Creamery opened its first store that year in Tempe, Arizona. While the company was originally headquartered in Tempe, in 2005 headquarters were relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona.[2]

The company’s business model is the same as the created by Steve’s Ice Cream’s founder Steve Herrell. The company uses in-store made ice cream that is combined with mix-ins, candy or other items that is folded into the ice cream to make a new flavor. Cold Stone’s name comes from the frozen granite stone, used to mix “mix-ins”: candy, nuts, or other edibles into various flavors of ice creams. However, the granite stone technique used to mix “mix-ins” was created by Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream, and its sister chain Marble Slab.

In 1995, Cold Stone Creamery opened its first franchise store in Tucson, soon followed by a store in Camarillo, California, its first out of state. Almost 1,400 franchises are in operation, although over 300 are currently available for sale. Cold Stone Creamery is now the sixth-best-selling brand of ice cream in the U.S. and now operates stores in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Guam, China, Mexico and Bahrain. Cold Stone opened their first franchise in Europe in 2008 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Three more shops were later opened in other parts of the country. The company was also named the 11th fastest-growing franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine in January 2006.

In May 2007, Cold Stone Creamery merged with Kahala Corp to form the company Kahala-Cold Stone, which collectively owns 13 brands. Doug Ducey, former president and CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, was named CEO of the new company.[3] Kevin Blackwell, the former CEO of Kahala, became chairman of the board and chief strategist. In September 2007, Ducey announced he was leaving the company.[4] Blackwell was named CEO.[5]

In June 2008, a Wall Street Journal article, by Richard Gibson, examined the unusually high number of Cold Stone Creamery franchises closed or put up for sale by their owners, many of whom had suffered significant financial losses due to their investment. The article included claims by franchisees that the company had misrepresented the average revenues of Cold Stone stores and acted in ways that reduced stores’ profit margins. A company spokeswoman said that the high number of stores for sale was “at par with industry expectations” in light of “the economically challenging times.”[6]

Corporate culture

In the spirit of joviality, and to encourage customers to give tips, Cold Stone instructs employees to sing a Cold Stone song, usually to the tune of recognizable melodies such as “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” or “Bingo,” when a customer places money in the tip jar. Lyrics include short, catchy phrases, such as, “This is our Cold Stone song, it isn’t very long.”

Recently various Cold Stone franchisees of New York have partnered with The Original Soup Man to sell soup in their respective stores.[7]


All ice cream creations are offered in three sizes: “Like It” (5 oz), “Love It” (8 oz), and “Gotta Have It” (12 oz). There is also a kids’ size (3 oz).

“Cold Stone Originals” are recipes that include the ice cream and mix-ins of any given “Signature Creation.”[8] Customers may also choose to alter the Signature Creation if they prefer by substituting the ice cream it is made with, or one or more of the mix-ins. If a customer does not want a Signature Creation, he or she may choose his or her own tailor-made ice cream creation by picking both the ice cream and “mix-ins”. Customers have a selection of waffle bowls or cones, either plain, dipped in chocolate, or dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with shredded coconut, peanuts, almonds, or rainbow sprinkles to put their icecream in.

Cold Stone offers a variety of smoothies, shakes and signature cakes. All of Cold Stone’s ice creams (including milkshakes made from their ice cream) excluding the “sinless fat-free ice-cream” and sorbets contain transfat.[9]


Cold Stone has been criticized for its business model. The cost of running a shop is so steep that making a profit is often daunting for franchisees. Several factors account for this including: the average customer pays $4 for home-made super- premium ice cream, the company offering national two-for-one coupons, franchisees having to buy costly ingredients from a single supplier, and some franchisees have argued that the company’s rapid expansion crowded stores too close together and brought in too many inexperienced franchisees.[10]


  1. ^ Duff, Mike (2006-05-06). “Target, Cold Stone Creamery sign in-store deal.”. Retrieved on 13 June 2006. 
  2. ^ “The Cold Stone Creamery Story”. ColdStoneCreamery. Retrieved on 2007-09-12. 
  3. ^ “Kahala and Cold Stone Creamery merge creating new category of franchising company”. May 11, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-10-10. 
  4. ^ Ryan Randazzo (September 15, 2007). “Kahala-Cold Stone CEO leaving job after 12 years”. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved on 2007-10-10. 
  5. ^ “Kahala•Cold Stone Names New Chief Executive Officer”. QSR Magazine. 17 September 2007. Retrieved on 2007-10-10. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ “SoupMan and Cold Stone Team Up”
  8. ^ “Signature Creations”. Cold Stone Retrieved on 2007-09-12. 
  9. ^ “Cold Stone Nutritional Information”. ColdStoneCreamery. Retrieved on 2008-05-22. 
  10. ^ “The Inside Scoop”. ColdStoneCreamery. Retrieved on 2008-07-01. 

External links

  • Official site
  • Japanese site
This text comes from Wikipedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikipedia.

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