Cold Stone Creamery® was founded in 1988, by married couple Donald and Susan Sutherland in the college town of Tempe, Arizona. The Sutherlands were ice cream fanatics and traveled all over the world trying to find the perfect ice cream. Unsatisfied with the ice cream they discovered, when they returned the Sutherlands set out to open a new ice cream shop that would be far different than the prepackaged, chalk-like ice cream they could get in the supermarket, or the prepackaged ice cream that arrived in vats at their local ice cream shops in town.
They wanted ice cream that was made in-house, on the very same day their customers came in to get a sundae or cone. The quest for the perfect ice cream franchise opportunity is the reason Cold Stone Creamery was founded, and it’s why Cold Stone Creamery continues to enjoy rising popularity.
“What made us unique when Cold Stone Creamery was founded is what continues to make us unique today, which is the fact that we make our ice cream fresh,” says Dr. Maya Warren, Tastemaster™ with Cold Stone Creamery. “What the Sutherlands discovered in the 1980s still persists among a lot of our competitors, who bring their ice cream in tubs or vats, and the ice cream sits until they sell it or it goes bad.
This key difference is why Cold Stone Creamery has such a heavenly taste, that perfect ice cream taste that you want when you’re in the mood for ice cream: we make the ice cream in the same store where you come in to get it.”
What Is a Cold Stone Creamery Franchise?
One of the nation’s premier ice cream franchises is a beloved brand with an even brighter future
The Cold Stone Creamery® ice cream franchise has captivated the sweet tooth of customers around the world, and it continues to be a bright brand in the $8 billion ice cream industry, according to IBIS World. Doing business for 30 years, Cold Stone® has become a national institution, beloved for offering the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience®. Our brand’s super-premium ice cream is made fresh in over 1,000 locations in the United States, and in hundreds of other locations around the world.
As one of the pioneers of customization, Cold Stone Creamery allows customers to dream up their own ice cream treats, or choose from our wildly popular Signature Creations™. Better still, our customer service is not only exciting, with songs, cheers and dances, but it creates memories that will last a lifetime.
“Cold Stone Creamery is unique in the ice cream franchise space, because we make our ice cream in-house,” says Dr. Maya Warren, Tastemaster™ with Cold Stone Creamery. “When our customers come to us, they’re getting ice cream that has been made for them in that very store. Our product is exceptional, and that is evident in the fact that millions of people around the world love the experience they get at their local Cold Stone Creamery — and that number grows every day.
The best part about Cold Stone Creamery is that we get to make people happy. If someone comes in having a bad day, they’re going to leave us with a smile. If someone comes to us on a good day, they’re going to go on and have a better day. That is what Cold Stone Creamery is all about.”
Ice cream is America’s favorite dessert. Ice cream has been an American favorite since George Washington was president. Not only do we spend $8 billion a year on ice cream, but the “Real Dish on Ice Cream Survey” also revealed that 87 percent of Americans keep ice cream in their freezer on a regular basis, and the average American enjoys 48 pints of ice cream per year**.
“Our love affair with ice cream appears everywhere in popular culture: in the movies, on television, in songs, in literature — Americans turn to ice cream in good times and bad, to celebrate and to share in order to make life that much sweeter,” Dr. Warren says. “Ice cream is also unique because our love of it, our craving for it, stays with us throughout our entire lives. Cold Stone Creamery is very privileged in that our customers are grandparents with their grandchildren, teenagers on first dates, young families, old families, groups of friends celebrating birthday parties and victorious sporting events. Ice cream brings us together, and because it’s one of the only foods we eat in its frozen state, there’s literally nothing like it!”
Cold Stone Creamery is an iconic business model that is easy to run and easy to scale
Fad concepts offering the hot new desserts come and go, but ice cream will always be a part of American life. Not only is Cold Stone Creamery one of the nation’s premier ice cream franchises and a beloved institution around the world, but we are also proud to say that our business model has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs realize their dreams of small business ownership and take control of their own futures for nearly three decades.
Why does Cold Stone Creamery have staying power? For starters, Cold Stone Creamery has been designed to be easy to run and easy to scale. Our franchisees come to us with a passion for ice cream, an enthusiasm for our product and the desire to be a positive, meaningful force in their communities — and we teach them the rest. We provide a total of 120 hours of initial training, and our ongoing training continues throughout a franchisee’s tenure with us. Cold Stone Creamery helps with everything from marketing to PR, to the development of business plans, to new and fresh products, to ongoing coaching and franchisee support.
“The beauty of Cold Stone Creamery is that anyone with business savvy and passion for our brand and the ability to follow our systems can build a bright future,” says John Wuycheck, SVP of Franchise Development with Cold Stone Creamery. “We don’t require any experience in the restaurant industry or the service industry, because our training and support is so involved that we can teach any entrepreneur how to be a Cold Stone Creamery franchisee. Our brand has franchisees who have been with us since the beginning, many of whom have scaled up to multiple locations. New franchisees are welcomed into the Cold Stone Creamery family with open arms, and the culture is inclusive, accessible and encouraging. Cold Stone Creamery is more relevant than ever, and our goal is to open hundreds of locations in North America and internationally in the coming years.”