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Cold Stone Creamery is an American-based ice cream parlor chain. The company, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is owned and operated by Kahala Franchising, L.L.C. The company’s main product is premium ice cream, or ice cream made with approximately 12-14% butterfat, that is made on location and customized to order for customers at the time of purchase. Cold Stone has also expanded its menu with other ice cream related products such as ice cream cakes, pies, cookie sandwiches, smoothies, shakes and iced & blended coffee. Since 2008, the company has been co-branding its locations with other chains in an attempt to increase its presence outside the United States and open up its business model from the traditional summertime season to a more rounded, year round one.
The company was co-founded in 1988 by Susan and Donald Sutherland (unrelated to actor Donald Sutherland), who sought ice cream that was neither hard-packed nor soft-serve. Publicity materials describe it as “smooth and creamy super-premium ice cream.” Cold Stone Creamery opened its first store that year in Tempe, Arizona. While the company was originally headquartered in Tempe, in 1997 the company moved its headquarters to Scottsdale, Arizona. The company moved to its current headquarters in Scottsdale in 2005. The original Cold Stone Creamery, store #0001, is still in operation today at the original location in Tempe. The company’s business model is the same as the one originally created by Steve’s Ice Cream’s founder Steve Herrell. The company uses in-store made ice cream that is combined with mix-ins, candy or other items that is folded into the ice cream to make a new flavor. Cold Stone’s name comes from the frozen granite stone, used to mix “mix-ins”: candy, nuts, or other edibles into various flavors of ice creams.