KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — Lovers of American ice cream parlour chain Cold Stone Creamery here will no longer need to get their fix from neighbouring cities such as Singapore, Bangkok and Manila.
On top of a flagship outlet at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, the Arizona-based brand, which celebrated its grand opening yesterday, plans to open 10 outlets within the next five years.
Founded in 1988, Cold Stone Creamery is best known for its Signature Creations, a range of make-your-own desserts that lets customers pick their choice of mix-ins, all theatrically combined on a frozen granite slab.
The store offers 36 ice cream flavours which are handcrafted fresh daily, using local ingredients.
Some of its popular Signature Creations include Founder’s Favorite (sweet cream ice cream, pecans, brownie, fudge and caramel), Birthday Cake Remix (Cake Batter ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, brownie and fudge) and Chocolate Devotion (chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, brownie and fudge).
“We’re excited to be in Malaysia and we want to make sure we choose the right locations for the brand,” said Eddy Jimenez, senior vice president of international operations and development.
Those wondering why it took so long for the popular chain to reach Malaysian shores, Jimenez explained it took years to find a suitable franchisee.
“Coming into Malaysia now is a testament to us being able to find the perfect match and the perfect master franchisee for this country,” he said, adding that Malaysian consumers appreciate high quality and great customer service-type brands.
It is an interesting time for a global chain like Cold Stone Creamery to enter the Malaysian ice cream scene, seeing that local artisanal brands are enjoying enormous popularity.
Asked how the brand plans to overcome the likes of Inside Scoop, Piccoli Lotti, Cielo Dolci, etc. Jimenez said Cold Stone Creamery will offer local flavours very soon.
The brand’s very own taste master, Dr Maya Warren, spends her days coming up with unique flavours for the US and global market.
“We’ve done wasabi ice cream in Japan and we have an extensive list of all sorts of different flavours we’ve come up with.
“Local flavours are important and we are very sensitive to the local culture — they’re going to be a big part of the brand,” he said.
In the US, seasonal flavours include Jell-O Pudding and pumpkin cheesecake.
Warren has even experimented with savoury flavours such as barbecue and taco.
For Jimenez, who has worked with Cold Stone Creamery’s parent company Kahala Brands since 2004, there is never a dull moment.
“I love ice cream! We do a lot of tastings, so it isn’t uncommon that we have ice-cream every day.
“My kids love ice cream, so they love the fact that I work in Cold Stone Creamery,” he said.
Cold Stone Creamery’s Signature Creations come in three sizes, Like It (RM15.90), Love It (RM16.90) and Gotta Have It (RM21.90). A single scoop starts from RM8.90 and ice cream cakes are priced at RM99.90.