Cold Stone Creamery

United States of America
Quick facts
Year business began:
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For over twenty five years Cold Stone Creamery have produced the finest freshest ice cream, cakes, smoothies and shakes using their special signature process of preparing their ice cream on a frozen granite stone. It all began in 1988 in Arizona after Donald and Susan Sutherland brought new life to ice cream. Ice cream is made fresh every day and soon more and more people were gasping to get their hands on this special creation.

Cold Stone Creamery began franchising in 1994. Now it has nearly 1000 stores across America and at least 300 around the rest of the world. Its success and brilliance have not gone unnoticed. Cold Stone Creamery made the top fifty of Entrepreneur’s top 500 franchises in 2014 and both the best of summer viewer’s choice contest and the Ventura country reader’s choice awards voted it the best ice cream.

The Franchise System

Cold Steam Creamery has evolved into a passionate franchise community that succeeds due to a good relationship with its franchisees and consistency throughout its branches. Being part of the Cold Stone franchise has several advantages. Franchisees benefit enormously from the winning brand name that people already know and value. Working with a business plan that has already been tried and tested to work is reassuring when starting out. While you always have the support of the franchiser you are not completely limited to a set of instructions. For example, while there are set ice creams and menus, menus are customisable to suit local areas etc.

Extremely valuable training is provided before and during operations. The company provides the franchisee with support in terms of choosing a site and location for the new branch. It provides pre-opening training which includes getting equipment and the businesses launch. Operations support continues throughout the running of the business when it comes to researching and developing products or purchasing from suppliers. While there is ongoing training throughout the franchisee’s role, the full training programme at the beginning covers a lot, with 40 hours training in headquarters and 80 hours in store training.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Cold Steam Creamery have a passion for their local communities and feel it is their responsibility to give back to the communities whenever the can.

They recently created a partnership with Best Buddies International which is an organisation dedicated to establishing a voluntary movement that creates one to one friendships, employment and leadership development for people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. It includes people with downs syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and many more.

Each franchisee can take on different roles or events should they feel the need. For example a young boy Ben who will soon be completely blind was brought to a Cold Stone branch to see how the ice cream was made.

It is things like these that convey how much Cold Steam Creamery wants to give back and continue making people happy.


Cold Stone have bought out a new flavour called Confetti Cupcake Ice Cream specifically to match summer feelings and flavours. This was brought out specifically for summer 2017 and is only available from June to September.

Cold Stone partnered up with the discovery channel and for shark week they brought out a sea themed flavour as well as two other promotional products.

For the 2017 Random Acts of Kindness Day, Cold Stone Creamery traveled around the country, landed at random locations and gave away free ice cream.


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