Who Owns Cold Stone Creamery®?

If you’re looking to get into franchising, it helps to know who you’re dealing with. A company that’s run by real people like you is going to be much more attractive long-term than a huge, soulless mega corporation.

That’s why, if you’re considering a Cold Stone franchise, it’s important that you know who owns Cold Stone Creamery. Here, in the Cold Stone story, you’ll find out exactly who’s in charge, and why they’re as committed to your success as you are.

The franchise started in 1998 by Susan and Donald Sutherland. They had a problem: they wanted ice cream that was neither hard-packed nor soft-serve. Luckily, they recognized in this problem an opportunity, and Cold Stone Creamery was born.

Their solution was an ice cream that fell into the “sweet spot” between the two traditional options. Now that they had the ice cream that they had always craved, they needed a way to get it to the public.

The first store opened that year in Tempe, AZ. This store, #0001, is still in operation today. Visitors to the store found more than the next generation in ice cream, however. They also discovered a mixing bar that opened up a whole new world of flavor.

The store was a hit, and was soon packed with hooked customers. It would take 7 years before the Sutherlands would branch off into franchising, with a store in Tucson. However, the fact that this store was as popular as the original made further expansion a foregone conclusion.

The chain soon spread from Arizona into California, and from there the world. There are currently over 1,300 franchises worldwide. From Japan to Mexico, Kuwait to the Philippines, the market for exceptional ice cream is booming.

Customers weren’t the only ones to take notice. In 2007, the company merged with Kahala Corp., another Arizona-based franchisor. This opened up the Cold Stone portfolio to greater diversity, and allowed for joint ventures.

The end result of all this growth is a worldwide chain of vibrant, profitable franchises. No matter the market or location, the demand for premium ice cream is high, and Cold Stone offers some of the best you’ll find.

It’s not surprising, then, that franchising opportunities abound. There’s no shortage of people who are looking for a high-margin, low-stress business that they can build their future around. Cold Stone fits that bill.

Today the corporate headquarters enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with its franchisees, as both are enjoying exceptional growth. The state of the brand is strong with positive year over year same-store-sales from 2013-2014.

If you’re looking to start your own franchise, it’s imperative that you act now. The process is quick and painless, but that doesn’t mean that the opportunity will be around forever. After all, other people are becoming aware of the possibilities as well, and someone else may have their eye on that perfect location you’ve scouted.

Ultimately, there’s only one perfect answer to the question of who owns Cold Stone Creamery.

That person is you.


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