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|Jon McDonald • 2/13/17|
The Short Version: Founded in 1988 by a couple whose mission was to find the perfect ice cream, Cold Stone Creamery is not only a great place to get a delicious treat — but it’s also a great place to get to know someone. Whether you’re debating which of their playfully themed signature creations is your favorite or laughing as your ice cream artist bursts into song, you’ll learn more about your date in a fun, relaxing atmosphere at Cold Stone. The creamery is somewhere you can relax with a companion, and their goal is to give customers a 10-Minute Vacation™ during every visit. With ongoing creative developments, charity partnerships, and eClub perks, Cold Stone is helping bring happiness to people and their communities, and it all starts with ice cream.
You can learn a lot about your date by ending the night with a trip to Cold Stone Creamery, and it can all begin with what flavor they pick. According to a study by Dr. Alan Hirsch, Neurological Director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, ice cream preference may reveal a lot more than just someone’s tastes.
For instance, people who prefer vanilla ice cream are anything but plain. The study found those choosing vanilla are colorful and impulsive risk-takers. Chocolate lovers tend to be considered the life of the party, while strawberry aficionados are shy and introverted.
The study also includes a compatibility chart, which is good news for those who like banana ice cream, because they are compatible with all of the other flavor lovers. However, those who favor vanilla are most compatible with others who like vanilla.
Now, whether the findings of that study are scientific fact or contain only a sprinkle of truth, they can certainly spark a conversation the next time you’re sharing an ice cream with a date. Cold Stone provides a fun, friendly atmosphere for having that discussion and ending the night on a sweet note.
When Donald and Sue Sutherland decided to open an ice cream business in Tempe, Arizona, in 1988, they weren’t content with settling for either hand-dipped or soft-serve ice cream. The former was rich but hard to scoop, while the latter was too airy and lacked the rich flavor true ice cream lovers crave.
Their search for the perfect ice cream with just the right combination of flavor and texture led them to what industry experts classify as superpremium. Ranging from 12 to 14% butterfat, superpremium ice cream is rich and creamy with less overrun (air) than other quality grades.
This type of ice cream was just right for their idea of mixing in customizable add-ins on a frozen granite slab. The Sutherlands credit their Cold Stone Creamery business model to Steve Herrell, the first to “smoosh” ingredients, like candy bars and gummy worms, into superpremium ice cream at his Boston-based business in 1973.
Still, there are many ways customers can see the Sutherlands’ unique touches when they visit Cold Stone. Their ice cream is made in-store every day to ensure it continues to meet the founders’ high standards. And, although Tastemasters are continually engineering new flavors, the Sutherlands’ Founders Favorite — sweet cream ice cream topped with pecans, brownie bits, fudge, and caramel — is still a mainstay on the menu.
Other ways you might notice the Sutherlands’ adventurous spirit are in Cold Stone’s cheerful atmosphere and playful way of treating ice cream like fine art.
Cold Stone Creamery loves finding ways to make people smile beyond serving up yummy ice cream. Even if your date didn’t start with a concert, if you take them here, it might end with one. Just leave a tip in the jar for your ice cream artist, and they’ll sing for you — usually a well-known tune refitted with cute lyrics about the Cold Stone experience.
Speaking of songs, the creamery offers couples a list of date ideas for Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion, complete with a list of the most romantic songs to help you create the right mood.
One of these ideas, of course, is to take your date to Cold Stone and let them customize their ice cream with mix-ins. The company uses the term “creations” because they consider them edible works of art.
If neither of you knows exactly what you want, you can look for something that matches your personality — or maybe describes your relationship — among 21 signature creations. This menu features cute date themes like “All Lovin’ No Oven,” “Cookie Doughn’t You Want Some,” or “Falling in Chocolate,” a customer favorite.
The most popular ice creams and signature creations stay consistent, but new and seasonal flavors, like Fudge Truffle, are regularly introduced, often with a new twist. You’ll always find something new and interesting if you decide to make visits to Cold Stone a tradition.
Finally, if your date needs something a hot to warm up with after a walk in the cold, you can treat him or her to a decadent Hot Stone dessert: ice cream served on a warm brownie, cake, cookie, churro, or funnel cake and topped with melted hot fudge or caramel.
Creating an environment where people can enjoy decadent desserts while getting a chance to be creative is part of Cold Stone Creamery’s mission. The creamery’s invitation to come inside, get away from the outside world just for a few minutes, and let something sweet put a smile on your face is an experience they’ve even trademarked as a 10-Minute Vacation™.
Besides offering the best ice cream and 10-Minute Vacations™, Cold Stone also makes people smile by giving back through eClub rewards and partnerships with both national and local charities.
Cold Stone looks for opportunities to help children by working with programs like Best Buddies International and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
One child Cold Stone helped was 9-year-old Ben, who was slowly losing his eyesight. As a part of his wish list, he wanted to see how ice cream was made. The crew at an Orlando, Florida, franchise not only invited Ben and his entire family to see how ice cream is made, but they also let them take part in the process. Wearing a Junior Tastemaster jacket, Ben helped mix ice cream and, along with his siblings, got to make his very own creation.
Then there’s Kate — a Make-A-Wish kid with a rare spinal condition who wanted to be the Junior Tastemaster for the world’s largest ice cream social. Cold Stone gave Kate the opportunity to travel to their headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, and work with Tastemaster Ray Karam to concoct her very own signature creation. Its debut at an ice cream social event raised funds that will continue to give back by granting the wishes of other children just like Kate.
Everyone likes ice cream, especially if it’s free. Patrons who join Cold Stone’s free eClub receive exclusive access to promotions, coupons, and giveaways and are the first to learn about new products and events in their area.
Club members also get a yearly coupon for a buy-one-get-one birthday treat and $3 off a birthday ice cream cake.
Ending a date night at Cold Stone Creamery is a great way to get to know more about a person. By watching your date choose their custom mix-ins for Cold Stone Creamery’s super premium ice cream, you’ll learn a little bit more about their tastes and preferences — and maybe even their personality.
Did you get butter pecan while your date selected chocolate chip? Good news, the flavor preference study says you’re compatible with each other. But you could also share a signature creation that reflects the mood like Chocolate Devotion.
In an exciting atmosphere of singing employees, quirky ice cream titles, and the knowledge that you’re supporting a company that gives back to communities, Cold Stone Creamery can help you turn any date into a memorable experience that keeps you smiling for days to come.