US-based Cold Stone Creamery will officially open its landmark shop in Cambodia this Saturday at its Tuol Kork location.
The premium ice cream restaurant was founded in Arizona in 1988 and became locally franchised through TH F&B Co Ltd in October of last year, making Cambodia the 29th country the chain has expanded to.
It will open a second shop in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Keng Kang district in approximately two months and plans to expand to 15 outlets within the next five years throughout Phnom Penh and possibly Siem Reap, according to Sideth Doung, operation manager for Cold Stone Creamery Cambodia.
“With our economy growing and people getting higher pay, people’s living standards are expanding and they are now looking for something with quality,” Doung said. “And we think that Cold Stone has that super premium quality of ice cream to be made fresh daily in the store.”
With more than 1,500 stores worldwide, the ice cream is created with ingredients imported from the US and is free of food coloring or chemicals.
The chain differs from other ice cream brands in the market in that they offer over 20 flavours, 20 signature creations and the option for customers to customise their own ice cream creation, according to Doung.
“It’s not just about being freshly made, it’s how we serve customers, we don’t just scoop ice cream, we mix ice cream and put it on the stone so every bite of ice cream is the taste that you want,” he said.
Doung added that the “cheer food” culture of Cold Stone, where the staff constantly sing, dance, and make a show of their ice cream creations, is something that Cambodians will especially enjoy.
According to his predictions he expects that 80 per cent of the creamery’s customers will be Cambodians and that the remaining 20 per cent will consist of foreigners and tourists.
“Mostly we focus on local people but foreigners who experienced Cold Stone before are also going to go for it,” he said. “[Our Tuol Kork location] is one of the most crowded local communities with a lot of homes and a lot of brand name shops along Kampuchea Boulevard.”
“And then Boeung Keng Kang is more of an expat location with, where we expect a 50-50 mix of expat and local customers.”
Meas Development Holding, sole franchiser of the Cambodian originated Blue Pumpkin ice cream creamery, says that ice cream is a very well received dessert among Cambodians and that they welcome new ice cream brands to the small but growing market.
“Each brand is very different and there are different types of ice cream and different ways to serve it, from traditional styles to creative styles, so I think it’s nice to have variety,” said Anne-Sarine Courcoux, chairwoman of MEAS Development Holding.
As one of the oldest and widely consumed Cambodian food brands, she added that Blue Pumpkin is one of her company’s most important restaurants among at least five others.