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Cold Stone Creamery - Tales of Gore

I have been keenly interested in the past year in the Quiznos and UPS discussions. One could easily substitute "Cold Stone Creamery" in either of those discussion forums in discussing product costs, labor percentages, kickbacks, franchisor horrors and the non-viable business models. Yet, this "golden child" of the ice cream industry continues to go undetected in their ruthless business practices, their flawed business model and their total disregard for the profitability of the franchisee. Well, with some help that will stop here, I have passed too many wounded (failing) and, indeed, dead (closed) franchisees on this road to remain silent any longer.


I am opening up two forum topics:


1) a "Cold Stone Creamery - Tales of Gore" topic and invite other Cold Stone veterans to speak out - and help would-be future franchisees with operational details and Cold Stone relationship insights and to lend a hand in the post-traumatic rehabilitation of other CS franchisees coming in from the "Cold".

Tails Of Gore Topics:

Failed marketing attempts - cakes, shakes, red pan, smoothies, grab and go

Corporate Inexperience - failed TV ads, gift card fiasco

Churning - 2nd, 3rd generation owners

Franchise transfer nightmares, the CS transfer process

The CS lifecycle - honeymoon, recruitment, break even, try to sell, … death spiral

What did you pay and what price are you trying to sell?

Inability to organize a franchisee association or to successfully litigate

Ability to successfully litigate (tell us how!)

2) a "Cold Stone Creamery - Due Diligence" - this topic will attempt to deal strictly with the facts and figures related to owning (and closing) a Cold Stone Creamery. Over time this will help the general public and would be franchisees understand why it costs most franchisees $7.50 to sell a $5.00 ice cream in a Cold Stone Creamery Franchise. I invite both Cold Stone pro and CS con to join in and defend or refute the discussed due diligence topics.

Due Diligence Topics:

Training cycles (hire, train, layoff, hire, train, layoff)

Pro forma breakdowns, Labor breakdowns, product breakdowns

Product costs, Sygma and Sysco markups

Buildout costs

Chronic equipment failures

Compressors = electric bill

Smoothies, shakes, cakes, soups, coffee - other losing attempts at profitability

What SBA did you use?

I encourage Cold Stone Creamery franchisees to post regularly with product costs, franchisor issues, insane marketing abilities and updates on legal proceedings.



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Cold Stone Creamery and Tim Hortons

These two franchises are from the same mold. There is a huge class action lawsuit in Canada against Tim Hortons by it's franchisee's I am an ex-franchisee of Tim Hortons and there are many many of us who have had to endure this nightmare from a FranchenMonster Franchise. Tim Hortons has employed many (most if not more) of the same tactics that Cold Stone Creamery has used. What damage will these two evil empires try to pull off now. Wendy's got rid of Tim Hortons now Tim Hortons hooks up with Cold Stone Creamery. Why do you think that is? The Tim Hortons stores aren't making money now and they are adding another losing franchise to their current franchises. The franchisee's are screaming and no one is listening. See the article in MacLean's magazine about the class action lawsuit currently underway for billions of dollars. Nothing ever gets published about these franchises for fear of a lawsuit as Cold Stone has now threatened. Tim Hortons spends millions of advertising dollars in newspapers and tv and everyone is scared to publish anything negative about them for fear of a lawsuit. Visit the website and see what this Franchisor has done.

Cold Stone Creamery and Tim Hortons

These two franchises are from the same mold. There is a huge class action lawsuit in Canada against Tim Hortons by it's franchisee's I am an ex-franchisee of Tim Hortons and there are many many of us who have had to endure this nightmare from a FranchenMonster Franchise. Tim Hortons has employed many (most if not more) of the same tactics that Cold Stone Creamery has used. What damage will these two evil empires try to pull off now. Wendy's got rid of Tim Hortons now Tim Hortons hooks up with Cold Stone Creamery. Why do you think that is? The Tim Hortons stores aren't making money now and they are adding another losing franchise to their current franchises. The franchisee's are screaming and no one is listening. See the article in MacLean's magazine about the class action lawsuit currently underway for billions of dollars. Nothing ever gets published about these franchises for fear of a lawsuit as Cold Stone has now threatened. Tim Hortons spends millions of advertising dollars in newspapers and tv and everyone is scared to publish anything negative about them for fear of a lawsuit. Visit the website and see what this Franchisor has done.

Thanks Blue Mau Mau....


Thanks to the Blue Mau Mau site for letting me use there forum space to expose the Horror show that is Cold Stone Creamery Franchising    .....  I am now moving this and future content to the Cold Stone Facts site:

You can find it at:

Note to all current and former Cold Stone Franchisees, please participate in the "Be Counted" program where we are accounting for all Cold Stone franchises sold and how they were churned or sold or closed, log your information here:


Ice cream war left Cold Stone ... closed.


Business recently froze for two local frozen dessert stores in Davis. This winter, the ice cream war left Cold Stone Creamery in North Davis and E Street's Yogurt Shack in downtown Davis as causalities. The stores closed on Dec. 28 and Nov. 20, respectively.


There is not a scarcity of frozen dessert places in Davis. Cultivé, Yolo Berry, SugarPlum, Pinkberry, Davis Creamery, Icekrimski, Ben & Jerry's, Baskin Robbin's, Tutti Fruity Frozen Yogurt and other stores all serve cold desserts.


[ CS Wannabee, notice that there are plenty of other ice cream stores and franchises in the Davis area - the one franchise that could not make it because of the broken business model was Cold Stone, think about it... ]

Success of Cold Stone Creamery - REALLY????

Success of Cold Stone Creamery’s chain of ice cream shops? REALLY????

On the contrary, Cold Stone has one of the largest failure rates in the entire country at 31%. At that’s only for SBA loans. That doesn’t even take into account other forms of financing. In fact, if you remove franchisors with fewer than 200 SBA applications, Cold Stone Creamery has the highest SBA failure rate in the country.

Have you read the Wall Street Journal article or seen the CNBC special that blasted them for closing more than 200 stores, the number of franchisees that needed suicide counseling and exposed their parent company Kahala for taking more than $13 million dollars in kickbacks from franchise owners. Have you seen the discourse that is taking place online?

I am a Cold Stone franchise owner with three stores and no one knows better than me of the misery that comes with being a Cold Stone Creamery franchisee. There are stores planning to close across the country. I am planning to close my stores as well. Despite having a very high volume of sales, we cannot make a profit in these stores because of Kahala’s kickbacks. My wife and I cannot even pay our mortgage Me and other franchisees will lose millions, our homes, I even had to pull my kids out of college because I spent their college fund trying to keep my stores open.

Cold Stone Creamery is among the most unsuccessful franchises in the nation and everyone should know that!

Comment by David — January 26, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

Granville_Bean's picture

shame on YOU

csf says " I even had to pull my kids out of college because I spent their college fund trying to keep my stores open."

Shame on you for putting Cold Stone Corporate ahead of your family.  Seeing the handwriting on the wall in the form of your monthy P&Ls, you had several years to transfer assets to your children while you still had assets.  Instead you undercut your children's education to fund your Zor.  To everyone else: DON'T DO THIS.

Buying an existing store

I have been reading these comments from existing nad past franchisees, and I am really scared of investing in this franchise. The store seems to be doing well, the current owners indicates a cash flow in excess of 100,000 on sales of about 602,000 with food cost of about 27%. Am I missing something. Just looking t the numbers, this seems like a wonderful opportunity, but there may be more to this, I am just trying to do some due dilligence. Any help from rxisting or past franchisees on what to look out for would br really appreciated.

Franchises ALWAYS make money, right? WRONG.

Franchises ALWAYS make money, right?  WRONG. We wanted to delve deeper into the matter and actually figure out how many franchises fail. So we released the hounds to sniff around and we came across some pretty interesting and startling data. The table below shows the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan failure rates for select franchises. To no surprise, Quiznos is on the wrong side of the list with a 25% failure rate. But they are not alone.  Blimpie, Blockbuster (recently filed for bankruptcy), Coldstone and many others have 20+% default rates. Sound the alarms! On the other hand, Pizza Hut, Jimmy John’s, Burger King, Wingstop and Papa John’s lead the pack with below 15% failure rates. Which franchise would you invest in?


There are a few things we’d like you to know about this particular data:

1. We gathered it from the SBA. Not all franchise loans originate from the SBA so it does not represent the entire loan population.

2. The data represents only loans approved between 2000 and 2009

3. Failure rate is equal to the number of loans in liquidation plus the number charged off all divided by the total number disbursed



Granville_Bean's picture

McDonald's & SBA

I am surprised there are ANY McDonald's getting SBA loans.  Note that there are only 14 loans listed while McD has about 12,000 Zee stores in the US (the rest are Zor-operated).  McD Zees generally have access to better than SBA loan terms through specialized franchise financing departments of large banks.  These do NOT have anything to do with SBA.  I theorize that a few McD Zees who were in trouble could not get approved by their usual lenders, so went for SBA in desparation.


"I invested over $700,000 just to get started and tens of thousands of dollars over 2+ years before being bullied out of one stores and forced to shut another store down because of NO INCOME, NO WAY TO KEEP STORE OPEN AND NO HELP FROM MY FRANCHISOR (COLD STONE CREAMERY) They "left me for dead" with my stores. I received ZERO help from CS (unlike the promise of unlimited help and resources in the beginning) to increase sales. I was forced to use products they required me to use which THEY WERE RECEIVING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN KICKBACKS ON. I was forced to do so many UNPROFITABLE things in my store and keep paying my royalties and advertising fees (what a joke!!!) or they would bully me and threaten to take my stores away with no compensation."


Cold Stone Creamery's ... 62 strips of bacon in a cup

Matt Bean from Men's Health magazine says there are five blended coffee drinks that are sure to sabotage your diet.

First up, is Cold Stone Creamery's "Lotta Caramel Latte" in the "Gotta Have It" size... you'll find as much saturated fat in it as you would in 62 strips of bacon"

What was once a Cold Stone Creamery...

"What was once a Cold Stone Creamery is now another ice cream shop. The Hop featuring Kaleido Scoops is trying to make it where others have failed before. Dee Dee La Rue is the new owner. "I had to think really hard about that and what would I do differently than they did."

Anchor: "...and it's not a franchise"

compare scorecards ... neither of us was making a dime

First, contrary to your claims that you are not corporate, you are every bit Kahala. You say, “I did join the NIACCF only after talking directly with another franchisee that helped start it. Based on that conversation I have no reason to believe that Kahala has anything to do with this association.” No franchisee would say that because I don’t know of a franchisee who is that naive, irresponsible, cavalier or trusting of Kahala. It would never happen!!! That statement assumes that franchisees are unintelligent and completely gullible. We’re not!

Second, my store at one time was doing $670,000 per year. I had a franchisee about 24 miles from me that was doing $1.2 million a year. He always thought I was doing great and I always thought he was crushing it. Once we began to compare scorecards, we found out that neither of us was making a dime. But of course that’s hard for you Kahala guys to believe, but your failure rate is proof. You are always trying to change the subject to Mr. Rolle. How about you guys addressing the facts for a change: kickbacks, churning, your out of control legal department, excessive couponing, market saturation, high build out costs, etc.?

Third, Mr. Rolle is the only one to accomplish anything on behalf of the franchisees against Kahala. Not the NAB, the ombudsperson, and certainly not the NIACCF or Zarco. Mr. Rolle; that’s it. The NIACCF and Zarco have ill intentions based on the influences of Kahala’s big dollars. I will conclude by “The Anti-Zarco” who posted to the first Janet Sparks article. BTW, I agree with everything he says here.


Granville_Bean's picture

now there's an indictment...

"Second, my store at one time was doing $670,000 per year. I had a franchisee about 24 miles from me that was doing $1.2 million a year. He always thought I was doing great and I always thought he was crushing it. Once we began to compare scorecards, we found out that neither of us was making a dime. "

When ice cream shops can't make money at those volumes, it is a stunning indictment of the CSC "concept".

Looking at buying an existing CS Franchise

On paper this store looks great,current owner claims >100,000 in cash flow. Am I missing something? I would really appreaciate your feedback/insight

Stunning is the right word

Stunning is the right word for it...  I prefer pathetic.

It's all proportional.  The more volume the more high priced (include kickbacks) products, the more labor, the more electricity, the more training, the more cleaning, the more equipment failures, the taxes .... the dimished profit margin also remains the same.

One of the issues is the HIGH VOLUME of name-brand products - hersheys, reeses cups, snickers, oreos, smuckers, 14% Kohler butter-milk cream from the wisconsin heartland.  And what are not name-brand products there are high priced nuts - pecans, almonds, walnuts, red velvet sheet cakes.  These aren't lettace, tomato, pickles, that can be bought at commodity volume discount.  That's why there is such an argument about getting the candies and nuts from sams or costco or local nut distributors.  The CS model does not lend itself well to "portion control" especially when there are 75 people in the line wondering why it is taking so long, consequently, alot of product ends up going down the drain, literally into the drain wells of the granite stone and into a floor holding drain.  As an owner, you see those hold drains full of pricey product and your stomach just knots up.

If these guys are doing $100k per month in volume, they must be running 2 shifts of ice cream production a day, but the carpagiani batch freezer doesn't double up, so you have to run it 8 hours a day straight.  That greatly increases your electricity and water (the batch freezer is water cooled) utilities bills.    With 2 shifts of ice cream production they would also need to run the "blast freezer" at least 18 to 24 hours a day... which is kept at a constant -35 degrees, thus providing the "blast" of cold. 

In case you missed that, a pan of ice cream goes from the batch freezer, sits in the blast freezer for at least 5 hours, and then to the walk in freezer for another 12 hours to soften up for service.  That's 18 hours of freezer compressor electricity before it's even ready to be sold.  Compare that to B&R who take a shipment of ice cream tubs and the go right to the counter... or a DQ with soft serve firing away as soon as the mix is frozen.

Of course labor is increases dramatically especially in the management, cleaning and service.

When I closed my doors we still had decent lines on weekend nights, what we did not have was any more cash or credit to subsidize the losses that would come when the lines went away for the fall and winter.

Cold Stone/Kahala

"I noticed in another on-line article they mentioned Kahala's other brands. Cereality was included. I can't tell you how many times my partner and I asked our AD for help, and he suggested we buy a Cereality franchise, to put on our second stone. We were struggling mightly with sales and paying royalties, rent, advertising, SBA notes, etc, yet he suggested we continue to spend money ( a large franchise fee) to sell cereal from our second stone (that was collecting dust from inactivity). Instead of Cold Stone/Kahala helping us to grow sales, they continued to look for ways to add to their own pockets. They collect their monies and fees and then turn their back on you when you ask for help or assistance."

I am an ex-franchisee

"I am an ex-franchisee and I can tell you at our co-op meetings we heard some pretty sad stories about forced singing and customers didn’t enjoy it. The crews did not enjoy singing when the moral of the owners was so low...rock bottom to be more specific. Owners are working their own stores since they can’t afford managers anymore. If stores aren’t going under, they are barely getting by because they have savings they are tapping into. And you’ll notice they have skeletal crews. We had the dream of singing and throwing ice cream, the perfect entertainment, until our store was so unprofitable, we ran with a minimal crew. Even with three employees staffed at once, one is serving customers, one making cakes, and one (the manager or owner now) unloading inventory or cleaning up. There is just not enough profit to staff enough to sing. Kahala has gotten so greedy that the kickbacks received by them in 2010 were $13 Million. Franchisees like myself, invested $350,000 and saw no support to be successful. They got our money, made their profit, and continued making profit. We closed our doors after six short months. Kahala continued taking franchisee fees and advertising fees from our accounts even after we closed the store. Readers, please don’t buy into this rosy picture. Kahala and Dan Beam are thieves and they will have to restore losses to all the 400+ franchisees who lost their stores, believing in this company cared about them. "

An open letter to all current Cold Stone Creamery operators.


"An open letter to all current Cold Stone Creamery operators.

Stand up a make your voice heard. In its infancy, Cold Stone was an attractive decorated franchise that provided high quality ice cream products. Most were located in a busy market area. Stores were very crowded with lines extending out the door. Our operators were well trained and our stores experienced high sales volume.

So then why are our businesses failing at such an extraordinary pace? If it was Cold Stone that chose the operators and trained them, how can they now blame the high percentage of store failures on poor franchisees?

In most franchise systems, when the owner is working 7 days a week for 14 - 16 hours per day, that means the operator is not making money. He can only hope to keep from losing his shirt due to labor costs by working long hours and covering 2 or 3 employee hours.

When some one plans to have his own business, his first dream is to be his own boss, and to spend more time with his family. For Cold Stone operators to accomplish this however, our franchisees must sacrifice sleep and sometimes cover 2-3 shifts per day to have an outside chance that his entire savings will not be lost in Cold Stone’s fraud.

In my case, when I applied to construct my first store, Cold Stone offered me a second store existing store for $50k - $80k and they assured me they would fully support me. At the time I thought, wow what a great fortune with an outstanding company. Not realizing how badly we had been set up for failure, my wife and I celebrated as if we had won the lottery. Our family and friends traveled near and far to be with us during our grand opening.

From the very start, we had excellent cash flow. At the end of the first month however, our income statement showed that we were unprofitable. Upon consulting with the AD, he advised us to invest additional monies into our advertising budget and increase our cake drops. One month later, we had the same result. The AD then said that all businesses are going to struggle to turn a profit early on. He advised me I was going to have to invest money into the business to keep it operating and I would begin to turn a profit shortly. I was skeptical of his response because this was an existing business and the profits should have been immediate.

This was the beginning of a series of lies by my AD to cover for Cold Stone’s broken business model. Things never improved, they only continued to spiral downward. Eventually Cold Stone terminated my store and sold it to yet another victim. Kahala’s hope is that I would be embarrassed for having lost my store and therefore tell my family and friends that I sold the store and then I would go away quietly. They also hope that I would not contact the new owner to tell him just haw troubled the store is. They know that many franchisees in my situation end up divorced and serious health problems due to the stress associated with these failed businesses.

This is exactly what happened to me and so many other Cold Stone owners until I decided to join Cecil and fight against all that is so wrong with Cold Stone. What happened to me, my wife, my kids, my family can happen to you as well. It is therefore important that we all come together and fight Cold Stone until they repay what they owe us and promise to stop hurting others."

"I am the norm and not the few. I too have lost everything"

First, I commend you in taking such a stand that needs to be!

Second, I am sure I am the norm and not the few. I too have lost everything, had to file bankruptcy and lost my house to foreclosure. After I filed the bankruptcy a HUGE weight was lifted off my back even knowing of the financial situation I was in. I am not going to lie, the first year after was a bit ruff but after learning a new way of living and not having the financial burden, LIFE IS GOOD! I can not express enough and agree with what you and many others have done and said, 'CLOSE YOUR STORES!" It's very easy to do. Talk with your lawyer and close the part of your life that is making you sick physically and mentally, tearing your marriage apart, draining your finances, taking ALL you time and working for people that don't give a damn about you or your family. It was a big step for me too but one Tuesday night I locked the doors behind me of both of my stores and walked away and NEVER looked back. That was one of the best days of my new life. Today, I have started new companies and have a new life. Cold Stone WAS an expensive education but non the less an education that will live with me and my family for the rest of our lives. Bothers and Sisters, life does go on after you close your stores and it is better than you might think!

Cecil, please feel free to pass this onto any one and every one! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! If this helps one person, then it was worth the time to write it. I would be more than happy to share my story. We all need to stick together and stand up and fight this non forgiving, non trusting, non caring, egotistical, life sucking monster. There is the use of my 1st Amendment!

Granville_Bean's picture


Pay attention to this.

If your store is a structural loser, the longer you stay open, THE MORE YOU WILL LOSE.

So CUT YOUR LOSSES as soon as you can.

Bad enough that you'll lose, say, $150k.  But do you want to keep at it until it is $250k?

Defaults by Franchisees Soar as the Recession Deepens

SBA-guaranteed loans are aimed at providing capital to small businesses that often can't qualify for conventional credit. Those loans, made through commercial banks and other lenders, can total as much as $2 million for as long as 10 years. The SBA essentially insures a significant portion of the loan to encourage lending and small-business entrepreneurship. The recently passed stimulus package raises that guarantee amount to 90% from 75%.

The annual list, which shows the number of loan failures for the year and failure rates over eight years, is compiled by the SBA and published by the Coleman Report, a lending-industry trade publication based in La Canada, Calif.

The franchise brands where at least 11 franchisees defaulted on loans during the 2008 fiscal year were: Aamco Transmissions, Carvel Ice Cream, CiCi's Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, Curves for Women, Domino's Pizza, Dream Dinners, Planet Beach tanning salons, Quiznos, Subway and Taco Del Mar.

[Left unpaid]


Kahala Corp., the franchiser of both the Cold Stone Creamery and Blimpie brands, says, "Despite the default numbers reflecting an eight-year period, many defaults have occurred in response to the declining economic climate." The company added that Kahala has been "heavily engaged in creating new strategies to address economic issues and increase franchise-owner profitability."

Whose Fault is the Coldstone Fiasco?

Franchisees say Coldstone was irresponsible and insensitive. Coldstone officials say franchisees were at fault. Who’s right?

Check out the three main mistakes each side made leading up to the disaster:

-They took the fad too far.
-They didn’t adjust to the recession.
-They didn’t offer franchisees bailout options.

-Bought into positive aspects of franchising without researching the risks.  
-Many franchisees lacked experience and small-business acumen.
-Franchisees put up more than they could afford.

The Coldstone scenario looks suspicious to me and not in Coldstone’s favor. Overexpansion isn’t a franchisee mistake, it’s a bad corporate strategy. The corporation, then, is responsible for adjusting to its own mistakes. On the other hand, the company seems to be doing fine in Asia and Mexico. Maybe its new strategy is to ignore the fallout back home while focusing on its successes abroad.

Humans are a company’s biggest asset. Coldstone hired inexperienced employees to serve its expansion hunger, then turned its back on them when they needed support. No matter how insensitive you are, it’s bad business to wangle your franchisees to the point of a class-action lawsuit.

Whose fault is it?  I’m pointing my finger at Coldstone.

Cold Stone Creamery Stone Cold Broke

“The income stream just didn’t hold up to what their liabilities were,” Douglass said. “And they just couldn’t make it. Their revenue stayed fairly consistent. It just wasn’t sufficient enough to meet the debt load.

“I’m sure the economy didn’t help things, although I can’t say it’s because of the economic problems we’re having that that’s what caused them to fail. Because they did maintain pretty steady sales throughout the time they were open.”

Time for some introspection

The Cold Stone Creamery store in Collierville grossed almost $260,000 in sales in 2006 and a little more than $270,000 in 2007, according to the Chapter 7 filing. Gross sales for the Ridgeway store were about $251,000 in 2006 and 2007.

Corporate information from Cold Stone Creamery puts the average unit volume a little higher than those amounts, at more than $380,000 per year. The franchise fee is $42,000, and potential owners are told to plan on investing between $294,250 and $438,850 to develop, equip and stock their stores.

Guess said Cold Stone Creamery is evaluating its options for the Collierville store and hasn’t made a decision related to any new franchisee.

Cold Stone Creamery Franchise For Sale


Price:      $99,000

"Price drastically reduced! Motivated seller - will finance - just 60k down payment needed!! If you have ever dreamed of owning a successful business, become a part of an internationally recognized franchise! This is your opportunity to take over a well established store with a great staff and excellent training. Stop looking for a job in the paper. Take control of your future and start earning some great business experience and invest in something that you can control. We have several locations currently available but they won't last long!  "

Price:      $75,000

Price:      $75,000

"you are getting significantly reduced pricing on businesses that once cost the owners over $300k to build the store"

Price:      $85,000

"Current market is providing buyers great opportunity to get into value locations such as this at very very low price compared to what it takes to build a new store - almost less than one third the amount it took for the first generation owners to build the store."

Price:      $39,000

"A lot of potential to increase sales through catering and local marketing. A owner/operator could really cut labor costs at this location."

Offered at: $79,000

Cold Stone Creamery Franklin, Tn
Franklin, Tennessee

"Great opportunity to own a hot franchise for an incredible price. Using only the finest ingredients, the highest quality ice cream available which is made fresh each day at the store."

Granville_Bean's picture

sheesh "jbm"

Give it a rest.

Just skipping over your posts now.  You are just repeating the same 'concept' over and over and over and over and over and over and over and.....

And it's all just cut'n'paste.  How about some ORIGINAL CONTENT instead of reposting what other people said?

Sorry about that... Just

Sorry about that...

Just building a repository of cold stone history to point would be cold stone wannabees to... these stories come and go so quickly that it is hard to really see the trend of abuse.  Does this bother you?

Granville_Bean's picture

undercutting your own credibility

You're coming across as a one-trick pony sort of stalker.  You account for the overwhelming majority of posts on your own thread.  If this had any legs, others would be picking up on it.  I don't think many others would WANT to get ivolved because you oerwhelm with your constant cut-n-pastes.  The topic has become little more than your personal rant and people are ignoring it as a response.

Good point, thanks.  My

Good point, thanks. 

My objective is more in documenting the history of Cold Stone than in generating mile-long discussion threads, so in that respect, yes, that is my one trick.   As I said, with the hope that those who are interested in finding out more about Cold Stone will have a comprehensive repository of articles and facts.  So I have tried to minimize the ranting and just provide documented events and facts about Cold Stone.

So, stop by often for an update on the ongoing history of the Cold Stone Zor vs. Zee relationship.

COLD STONE CREAMERY: Franchisee Alleges FR “Churning”


I am a recovering Cold Stone Creamery Franchisee. It will be year next month that we closed the doors and regained our freedom.

In the past 12 months we were under contract to sell our Cold Stone Creamery to a second generation buyer. During that time I saw Cold Stone Creamery Corporate stoop to an all-time low – and have seen first hand the cruelty of “corporate churning” at the expense of those who were “supposed” business partners.

Cold Stone Creamery Franchises: Why the Numbers are Dwindling


Interestingly, what captures our attention is the drop in the number of Cold Stone Creamery franchises. In 2008, Cold Stone had a peak of 1,394 stores, but in one year, saw a drop down to 1,221 in 2009. From the Cold Stone Creamery in Santa Ana, California to the location in Fenton, Michigan, these delicious stores have shuttered their doors. Why has this popular brand of ice cream dwindled?

Cold Stone Creamery closed at River Bridge Centre


Summer 2009 | Terranova Corporation

Terranova Corporation | 801 Arthur Godfrey Road, Suite 600, Miami Beach, FL 33140 | T 305.695.8700 | F 305.672.7800 |

Shopping Center Update
Palm Beach County, Florida

Cold Stone Creamery closed at River Bridge Centre, on the SW corner of Forest Hill Blvd. and Jog Road.

Cold Stone Creamery Closed - at the Beverly Connection


July 13, 2010 EAT,EVENT

Eats – Nancy Silverton’s Short Order, Mezze to Former Sona Space, Kabob House and Cold Stone Creamery Closed, Cookie Diet, Wonderland Bakery Update, Marcelita’s Sandwiches, and more

by tasha

Also closed is the Cold Stone Creamery at the Beverly Connection.

The Cold Stone Creamery at Patterson Place


Cold closing: The Cold Stone Creamery at Patterson Place, which was closed for the winter, is now closed permanently, a company spokeswoman informed Buzz this week.

Beki Anderson, spokeswoman for the franchise in the Triangle, said the store was the least lucrative of the seven locations in the area -- now down to six.

Read more: The Herald-Sun - Dunkin Donuts helps with the thaw

Newton’s Cold Stone Creamery closed

2009 November 19

by Jim Walker



While covering the power lunch between Governor Deval Patrick and our Mayor-elect Setti Warren, I saw that the Cold Stone Creamery had closed.

I guess we now know who won the Newton Centre ice-cream war: J.P. Licks. The crew at next door at Lee’s Burgers said Cold Stone had shut a few weeks back. I’m not a fan of big chains like Cold Stone. But I generally don’t like to see any business fail and I hope the employees have been able to find other work.

Ben & Jerry’s Bitter Crunch

by Suzanne SmalleyNovember 24, 2007


Some ailing franchisees say the ice-cream maker isn't nearly as sweet as its image.

"Last year 38 of Ben & Jerry's 456 North American shops, or about 8 percent, closed their doors. That compares with 71 Cold Stone Creamery shops that shut down, or about 5 percent of the total."


The Suddenly Downtrodden Cleveland Park

By Patrick

August 12th, 2009 @ 12:06 PM Cleveland Park

(Captain’s Note: The sudden emptying of Cleveland Park sparked some conversations between my pal Suburban Sweetheart who happens to live in the neighborhood. I invited her to share with us her unique take on the situation. I hope you enjoy and I encourage you to check her out. Well check out her blog at least- but she’s pretty cute too.)

Our Cold Stone Creamery closed first, hanging a curious sign that read “Closed Until Further Notice,” though all the ice cream topping remained on the counters & the logo signs still hang in the windows. But that was just the beginning. Our friendly neighborhood stores have, one by one, closed up shopped & shipped right on out of Cleveland Park:



Thayer Cold Stone shuts its doors


Like it, love it — can't have it

Thayer Cold Stone shuts its doors

Cold Stone Creamery on Thayer Street closed its doors last week, leaving College Hill ice cream-lovers disappointed and a handful of local students out of a job.

Kristina Gedutis, who co-owned the Thayer Street franchise with her husband, Craig, for five years, said the store's sales were down 30 percent from 2008.

Though the location's rent remained the same, dwindling revenues made it difficult for the owners to make payments, she said.


Cold Stone Creamery: 3508 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC-

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 3508 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC-P<br />
by fwinstead

Cold Stone Creamery with signs: “For Sale” and “Closed until further notice”.

ESCONDIDO: Recession starves many city restaurants


But many restaurants have closed.

They include Baja Fresh and Miller's Field in the Barnes & Noble plaza, Oggi's at the Westfield mall, two Cold Stone Creamery locations and three Quiznos sandwich shops. In addition, Bistro Le Bouchon closed and was replaced by Fizz, and Asia Vous was replaced by Tango.

Harvey Mitchell, chief executive of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, said the Quiznos and Cold Stone closures probably resulted from national chains scaling back in a tough economy.

Cold Stone Creamery tweaking menu amid 100 store closures

November 17th, 2008, 6:06 am · 17 Comments · posted by Nancy Luna, Staff Writer

Cold Stone Creamery President Dan Beem recently told me that the chain is revamping its menu to keep up with changing consumers tastes in a tough economy.

He also said the 1,350-unit ice cream chain expects to shutter about 100 stores by the end of the year.  None are expected to close in Orange County. Cold Stone is not halting growth, and plans to open additional stores.

However, the main focus pf the company: boost sluggish sales at existing units via new products.

The new treats, which will debut next year, include: chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, ice cream cupcakes; blended iced coffee drinks; new sorbet by Country Time and Puddin’ Ice Cream. The latter is new ice cream item developed in partnership with Jell-O Pudding. Flavors such as butterscotch will have a “jello-like” consistency.

The Ice Cream Cupcakes will have ice cream layered over the cake and  be topped with frosting.

Cold Stone Creamery stores in Fenton, Grand Blanc have shut down

GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan — The popular ice cream chain, Cold Stone Creamery, is now two restaurants less in Michigan.

Store locations in Fenton and Grand Blanc were closed effective Dec. 30, said Veronica Graves, public relations coordinator for Kahala Corp., which oversees Cold Stone Creamery operations.

"While I cannot speak to the specifics of why these stores closed, I can tell you in general the decision to close a store is often based of several factors ranging from personal to financial, or most recently as a result of the economy," Graves said.

Competition may also be a factor in the closings. The Grand Blanc location, formerly 12821 S. Saginaw St., competed with an area Dairy Queen and the seasonal Ziggy's. The store was opened in 2007.

The Fenton location, formerly 3202 W. Silver Lake Rd., competed with the long-standing Uncle Ray's Dairyland. The Fenton location opened in 2006.

Former owners of the Grand Blanc and Fenton stores couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

change in ownership at Cold Stone Creamery


Next door at Cold Stone Creamery, there has been a change in ownership, Keating said, with the Cold Stone Creamery corporation taking ownership of the ice cream shop. She said franchise owners Marie and Ken Kirwin also returned ownership of their Hyannis store to Cold Stone Creamery.

Cold Stone Case Study: Three Warnings for Franchise Buyers

By Wendy Bounds

Today’s article by Richard Gibson about the disenchantment of franchisees at Cold Stone Creamery underscores a few tips to keep in mind when looking to buy a franchise.

To summarize: Many franchisees are selling their stores, disaffected by what they say was too sweet a sales pitch by Cold Stone headquarters. Owners say potential revenue numbers were misleading and they complain some national promotions cut margins. Some are trying to organize a class-action suit seeking remedy from Cold Stone and its parent company Kahala Corp. For its part, Cold Stone contests the charges and suggests some franchisees were ill-prepared to run a business.

Cold Stone Creamery put in deep freeze in New Hartford

SYRACUSE - Just weeks after shuttering their Cold Stone Creamery location in the Towne Center at Fayetteville shopping plaza, the franchise owners have also closed their store in the town of New Hartford.

Franchise owners Joseph Paolozzi, III and Kevin Hughes did not return phone calls seeking comment, but Cold Stone corporate spokesman Kevin Donnellan confirmed the Manlius store at Towne Center at Fayetteville closed Sept. 29, and the location at The Orchard shopping center in New Hartford closed the first week of November. The New Hartford store opened in August 2004, and the Manlius location opened in October of that year.

Donnellan declined to discuss specifics about why the two stores weren't successful, but noted that Cold Stone is a "super premium ice-cream concept," and it does cost more than other ice creams.

Cold Stone Creamery, Get Out Of Town!


Who decided Cold Stone Creamery ice cream was great?

Let's see, four ice cream cups and a root beer, $37.82. Have you tried the French Vanilla? We did. And threw up. Like Kaopectate, without Kaopectate's smooth creamy "desserty" flavor.

We'll take Haagen Daaz in a heart beat. Ben & Jerry's in a quarter heartbeat. Baskin Robbins in a couple heart beats. Heck, we'll take Carvel; where is Carvel when you need it?

We don't need Cold Stone in our town. We don't need it a block from Haagen Daaz and Baskin Robbins. We don't need it in that space that use to be the home made muffin shop.

We say, Cold Stone, go away. Or, make your ice cream a lot better, a lot cheaper, with a lot less hype. Then come back, and we'll more rants

Cold Stone Dead Creamery to Become Tim Hortonstone

Several Cold Stone Creamery stores near me have closed since I wrote this article. Cold Stone is trying to stay alive by co-branding with Tim Hortons, a coffee, doughnut, and sandwich chain. Over the last several months, I have been put on an email list for Cold Stone franchisees from people who are leading a legal action “to hold Kahala-Cold Stone accountable for their many egregious actions and to pursue them as a franchisee group in an attempt to recover a potion of our substantial losses.” Kahala is the parent company of Cold Stone. The info that I receive states that the effort has “registered nearly 250 current franchisees and ex-franchisees representing 355 stores who have taken the first step to recuperate their financial losses from Kahala-Cold Stone…”

An interesting quote from the email to franchisees states (my bold emphasis):

For more than a year now, franchisees have been seeking a possible means of exiting the Cold Stone nightmare without defaulting on their financing obligations and such that they can stem the monthly financial losses and headache that have seemingly become synonymous with the operation of a Cold Stone franchise.

The market for a Cold Stone store is basically non-existent, reducing these high-priced parlors to fodder. Upon the filing of a class action or other group claim against Cold Stone, there will be a flood of newspaper, magazine, television and internet media coverage. This will likely result in these stores becoming even more worthless, assuming that is possible. It is time for franchisees to close their unprofitable stores and turn to Kahala-Cold Stone to demand compensation for what I believe are their fraudulent activities.

Lights were off in the local Cold Stone Creamery store


In late August 2010 or early September 2010 I noticed that the lights were off in the local Cold Stone Creamery store, located in a center with a Starbucks shop.  It was very normal to see long lines at this location since it opened up back in 2004.    Fast forward five to six years and the business owners have shut down the franchise and left the equipment in the building.  The landlord has changed the locks and put up new “for lease” signs within a few weeks.

Cold Stone Creamery – “Horrible Place to Work!”

Cold Stone Creamery Assistant Store Manager:   (Current Employee)


Money is money. You do get any product at a 50% off rate. Fellow Employees can pass your time working quickly.


HORRIBLE Management
No Breaks
Standing 8+ Hours
Endless Lines
Insufficient Staffing
Minimum Wage
Promoted By Being Managers Favorite
No Benefits, Even For Managers
Manipulative Management
Prepared to Be Belittled
Usually Demanding Customers
Very, Very High Pressure Work Environment
Must Sing For ANY Tip (Can Be Very Awkward!)
Must Deal With Tween Kids Daily
Walking on Eggshells When Any Management is Around

Advice to Senior Management

Listen to your employees.
Don't worry just about profits, but your employees as well. Employees do make an attempt to try, don't always blame them for things that they can not help.

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Franchise Operations