Steady following and good investment prompts franchisee to open a second store
Cold Stone Creamery® has millions of fans, and one of them is the franchisee Bruce Peltz.
Nearly a decade ago, Peltz was an unhappy manager of a flooring business, and then a sales representative unsure about what he wanted to do next in his life. Now, he is the owner of a popular Cold Stone Creamery in St. Cloud, Minnesota. In February, he is opening his second unit in Sartell, Minnesota.
With more than 1,000 locations across the country and in nearly 30 markets internationally, Cold Stone Creamery franchise is a thriving franchise system. Both 2016 and 2017 saw the brand increase numbers of franchise owners joining the system and 2018 is shaping up to be even better. Cold Stone Creamery is not only the ultimate ice cream brand; it is the ultimate concept for someone who has always dreamed of owning their own frozen dessert business.
“I like the concept,” Peltz says. “The first time I tried it was in Honolulu, Hawaii, on vacation. My wife Angie and I went to Cold Stone® twice and thought ‘wow that was good.’ I was living in North Dakota when I first looked into what it would cost, but I didn’t have the funds then as I was newly married. Even so, I didn’t really look into other brands. I liked the idea of just selling desserts and working with happy customers.”
Peltz says he went on to work as a sales representative for another company, but was miserable and frustrated, not knowing what he wanted to do professionally. “I kept thinking about Cold Stone. I just had to convince the bank to give me some money to open one.”
He was in luck, and in 2009 he acquired his St. Cloud store, which was already established by a previous owner eight years prior. The store is located in a high traffic area that attracts a large number of tourists. Peltz says the store is routinely number two in the state in sales, behind the Mall of America® Cold Stone Creamery location.
“We grew the store by 25 percent when I first took over,” Peltz says. “We have a good following because we do a good job. We make sure everything is in stock at all times. We have everything and never run out. In December alone we sold more than 300 cakes – we sell a great deal of cakes throughout the year. The top three days are Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and National Ice Cream Day is picking up steam,” he says. “We never say no when the customer asks for something. The customer is always right – and we always stay optimistic. That’s very important.”
“Location is also very important,” he says. “The St. Cloud store is in an area that attracts out-of-towners. The new store in Sartell is in a strip mall with high-visibility. The area is growing and increasingly busy with a new apartment community, a grocery store, and several food brands.”
Peltz has big plans for his second location:
“With the St. Cloud location, we’ve always had a following so we haven’t had to do much marketing. I’m learning more about social media marketing. I also go out to schools and into the community more often. Right now, I do a lot of events and concession stands – like my daughter’s dance competitions – delivering the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience®.”
“It was worth the investment. I thought I was satisfied having one, but people would tell me ‘we need a Cold Stone here’ or ‘we need a Cold Stone there,’ and I thought ‘why not open another Cold Stone since I already know the brand?’ ”
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