How an investment in the ultimate ice cream franchise launched an entrepreneur into a vibrant new career as a multi-unit owner
Cold Stone Creamery ® has launched hundreds of entrepreneurs into careers as small business owners, and Terry Sedmak is one of them.
A long-time salesman in the technology industry, Terry found growth as a first-time entrepreneur as a Cold Stone Creamery franchisee opening his first location in 2003 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. A year later, Terry opened his second location in the nearby area of Commerce Township, and his business has been thriving ever since.
“I had never heard of Cold Stone Creamery until I visited my son in Arizona in the early 2000s’,” Terry says. “We went on a grisly, rainy January day and there was still a line. We returned in the summer, and we waited in line for 32 minutes! The line was out the door, and when I tasted the ice cream, I knew why there was a line. I began to think that there must be something to this business. When I returned to Michigan, I had to bring Cold Stone Creamery to the Midwest, where people had never experienced anything like it before.”
Since our brand’s founding in 1988, Cold Stone Creamery has grown to well over 1,000 locations in the United States because of our easy to run and easy to scale business model, as well as our brand’s unwavering commitment to help our franchisees grow and prosper.
Fans regularly celebrate us on social media, the national press routinely writes articles following our every move, and stores’ crew members often produce videos of their inspiring ice cream creations that go viral. Though, in 2003, Cold Stone® was only beginning to expand into the beloved institution it is today.
“People just went absolutely crazy for it when we opened,” Terry says. “Now, everybody knows what Cold Stone Creamery is, though this works in our favor. There is still nothing like the experience that you get when you walk into a Cold Stone Creamery. We just have a completely different customer experience, which we’re well known for. There are other brands, but in my opinion, no one comes close to our brand’s ice cream. It’s truly exceptional.”
“Cold Stone Creamery is a great business to invest in.” says Cold Stone Creamery Franchisee Terry Sedmak.
Terry is absolutely right. We call this The Ultimate Ice Cream Experience®. Cold Stone Creamery is unique to other ice cream franchise concepts because our ice cream is made fresh in store locations. Other brands will ship their product in prepackaged vats and tubs, allowing their ice cream to sit frozen for days and often weeks, while Cold Stone Creamery is in fact a creamery! We produce all of the ice cream at our locations, using the finest ingredients and state-of-the-art, easy-to-use ice cream machines. Every dip of our brand’s ice cream meets customer’s high standards for taste, consistency and texture. This is why the brand has captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world.
Terry was so successful at growing his customer base in his two locations that he decided to offer catering. This additional revenue has significantly increased the profitability of his business.
“We invested in a van, and bought a wrap advertising our catering service,” Terry says. “It’s been a tremendous success, increasing our business by 10-15% annually. We do weddings, and our customers will walk into stores and tell us just how memorable it was to enjoy our ice cream at an event they attended. It’s growing completely organic, as we get the majority of our catering business via word-of-mouth.”
After close to 15 years in business, Terry still gets a kick out of going to work because it’s not only fun, it’s a chance to be a positive member in his community:
“We do have a lot of fun in this business,” Terry says. “The most rewarding thing for me is to be a mentor to our stores’ crew members. For many, it’s their first job, and so we have the opportunity to show them the rewards of working hard. We also get to do a lot for the community – donating to charity and hosting events. We raise money for our local firefighters every year, and every time there is an ice cream that someone doesn’t pick up, I run it over to the local fire station.”[e1]
For entrepreneurs who are interested in following Terry’s path of realizing their full potential as a small business owner, Terry some great advice:
“Cold Stone Creamery is a great business to invest in,” Terry says. “You have to work hard, and you have to be active in your business if you want to prosper. The support you’ll get from the Brand is outstanding, and they’re always available to help you. It’s been a very rewarding experience for me and my family, and if you’re dedicated, you can have a similarly rewarding experience with Cold Stone Creamery.”
Are you ready to open a Cold Stone Creamery franchise in your community?
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