September 10, 2014 // Franchising.com // Millbrae, CA – Step aside cupcakes and frozen yogurt – an evolved version of the nostalgic ice cream sandwich is about to take center stage as the nation's new No. 1 favorite dessert treat. Leading the comeback is CREAM, a fast-growing California-based fast casual franchise that offers endless custom combinations of super premium ice cream and toppings built between two fresh-baked cookies.
With six franchises and two company-owned locations regularly serving long lines of devoted fans throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, CREAM recently announced plans to expand its presence in California and around the country through franchising. In fact, company executives have inked franchise deals for six new locations to open by the end of this year, and plan to have 50 franchises operating by the end of 2015. Building on that momentum, CREAM projects to open 100 new franchise units annually starting in 2016 and beyond.
Ice cream sandwiches are a relatively untapped niche in the $11 billion dessert industry. According to Euromonitor International, US food service ice cream businesses are expected to increase 14 percent in the next three years with 40 percent of consumers now eating dessert twice a week or more, up from 36 percent since 2011.
"My wife's homemade ice cream sandwiches were always a neighborhood hit with the children. Inspired by the positive response, we opened our first CREAM location in 2010, said Jimmy Shamieh, co-founder of CREAM. "Enjoying an ice cream sandwich can allow everyone to reconnect with their inner child. We took that old favorite to the next level so that people of all ages and palates can enjoy an endless combination of cookies, ice cream flavors and toppings."
Fitting into the customization trend, CREAM regularly offers 20 super premium ice cream flavors, 20 varieties of homemade cookies and as many as 24 toppings. CREAM also offers four vegan and six gluten-free options. Though the ice cream sandwiches are the main draw, CREAM offers "The Cream Taco," a taco shell shaped waffle cone, milkshakes, floats, malts, scoops of ice cream and other baked goods. In addition to in-store traffic, franchisees can extend multiple revenue streams through catering parties and other events.
"For potential franchisees, CREAM is set apart from all other treat franchises with a niche concept, premium products at an affordable price, great service and a fun and inviting atmosphere," Shamieh said. "With the price of one of CREAM's ice cream sandwiches at $2.99, we are set up to fit the budgets of treat-loving consumers during any economic climate."
At an average of 1,200 square feet, CREAM stores feature a bright, modern atmosphere with music and energetic, friendly employees. With a franchise fee of $30,000, the total investment to own and operate a CREAM ranges from $196,000 to $412,000.
Headquartered in Millbrae, California and recently named one of "27 Ice Cream Shops You Need To Visit Before You Die," CREAM is a rapidly growing fast casual restaurant business that specializes in high quality ice cream sandwiches and other confections. Founded in 2010 and franchising since 2012, CREAM currently has eight locations open and operating throughout California's Bay Area and plans to expand its national footprint over the next several years. For more information, please visit www.creamnation.com.
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