Cold Rock to open 10 stores in regional Victoria
The chain is looking for new franchise owners in areas including Warrnambool, Echuca, Yarrawonga, Wangaratta, Lakes Entrance, Torquay and Swan Hill.
Australia’s biggest ice cream brand, Cold Rock Ice Creamery, is planning to roll out 10 stores in regional Victoria over the next 18 months.
The designer ice cream brand has almost 100 stores nationwide including 20 in Victoria.
“While the majority of our Victoria stores are located in greater Melbourne, some of our regional stores are among the best performing outlets nationally which has prompted us to further develop these markets,” FFCo managing director Stan Gordon said.
“Our research also shows our regional customers travel long distances to get to a Cold Rock store, and we believe people shouldn’t have to leave the countryside to get a taste of the city.”
Cold Rock lets its customers add chocolate, fruit, nuts and lollies into their ice cream, which is then smashed together on a refrigerated granite slab known as the Cold Rock.
“Mix-ins” range from Crunchie, Mars and Kit Kat bars to cookie dough and strawberries while ice cream flavours include cookies and cream, white chocolate and bubblegum, with more than 3000 flavour combinations available.
“Cold Rock is no simple ‘scoop in a cone’ business but a personalised and interactive approach to a fun dessert experience,” Mr Gordon said.
“Consumers love it because it appeals to their desire for designer products. Franchisees love it because it’s a simple, fun and contemporary business to run backed by strong support from head office.
“We have had strong enquiries from potential regional franchisees and believe there is plenty of demand to meet the expansion. We have the sites ready to go in many of our targeted regions -we just need the right people.”
Cold Rock has launched a franchisee recruitment campaign involving print, radio and online advertising.
Mr Gordon said Cold Rock stores were best suited to high street locations, which attracted much lower rent and higher margins for franchise owners, as opposed to expensive shopping centres.
“Even though we’ve seen consumers tighten their belts they are leaving room for ice cream,” he said.
“Our research has shown when times get tough people spend more on treats to keep their spirits up. A trip to the movies with the family may be outside the budget but ice cream is still one of life’s affordable pleasures, which makes Cold Rock an appealing business proposition.”
The first Australian Cold Rock store opened in Aspley in Brisbane’s north in 1996. The chain was purchased by FFCo in 2009.