VOL. 116 | NO. 231 | Monday, December 2, 2002
The Mid-Souths notably long, hot summer months have begun to
increasingly attract the perfect antidote: ice cream shops
What a dish gourmet ice cream hits Memphis
By ANDREW BELL
The Daily News
The Mid-Souths infamous long, hot summer months have begun
to increasingly attract the perfect antidote: ice cream shops. But, even as the
temperature drops, customers continue to warm up to the slew of new shops
popping up around town.
Cold Stone Creamerys franchise store at 1243 Park Ave. in
Park Place Center is its third to open in the Memphis area in the past year.
Other stores are located in Southaven, Miss., and near
Cold Stone Creamery regional operations director Steve
Brewster said Memphians are likely to see additional locations opening soon.
We expect to open a fourth site sometime in the near future
in the area, and I dont know how many after that, he said.
The Mid-South is not the only region seeing an abundance of
gourmet ice cream shops.
Marble Slab Creamery, which has two stores in the county
one in Germantown and another in Cordova has 174 franchises nationwide, with
more opening soon.
Both Marble Slab and Cold Stone represent a more
sophisticated type of ice cream attraction.
In addition to choosing from as many as 40 flavors of ice
cream, customers at these shops can select from a bevy of candy, nuts, cookies
or fruit to have folded into their creamy desserts. The concoctions are mixed
on frozen granite tables and served in containers of the customers choosing.
MaggieMoos a similar franchise with about 100 stores
nationwide has opened stores recently in the Memphis area, as well.
Brewster said Cold Stone has 300 franchises nationwide, with
350 franchises preparing to open.
Our goal is to open 144 franchises this year, and 271 next
year, he said.
Cold Stone, based in Tempe, Ariz., has been rated one of the
500 fastest-growing franchise chains in the nation.
Brewster said the company
reviews about 1,000 franchise applications a month; new managers attend the
companys Ice Cream University in Arizona for training.
At Cold Stone, emphasis is
placed on entertaining customers, because serving fresh ice cream as well as
taking time to customize each order takes slightly longer than simply
scooping ice cream into a waffle cone, Brewster said.
We actually auditioned kids before the hiring process, he
said. Every employee will sing for tips. We want to be able to offer something
when it gets busy here and the line gets long in the evenings.
The new store, managed by Rachel Dean, will hire up to 25
employees during peak ice cream season, which, of course, in Memphis is summer.