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Aug 13, 2005 08:18 PM

Cold Stone Creamery

  • h

They just opened a new Cold Stone Creamery a few miles from my house.

It was really cool. I took the kids last night and the place was packed. They had about ten high school/college kids behind the counter.

The mood was very upbeat. Every time someone walked in they would yell "Welcome to Cold Stone". Every time someone put a few coins in their tip jar they would sing.

The ice cream was top quality with fun mix ins and the kids had a fun time out.

I had never been to one before, I have a hard time believing that all of the stores are like this.

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  1. There is much better ice cream to be had out there than Cold Stone.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Poodle Mama

      Yes, but the experience is fun, especially for the kids who can make up their own combinations.

      1. re: Poodle Mama

        Second that. On the urgings of a friend, I agreed to try Coldstone. I ate a few bites and put it in the freezer. I never did finish was too sweet, the texture off, and the flavor was lacking. Not worth the calories. Sad to say, I ended up dumping it.

        1. re: LT from LF

          Handels in Ohio is part of a small chain of ice cream stands. It is the only place I have seen where people order ice cream in cones and dishes without any toppings. I have never seen anyone order a sunday or fancy frozen dessert. That is a testament to how good Handels ice cream is. It is smooth, rich and creamy and made fresh each day at each location. They have a raspberry truffle that is decadent. Chech out their web site.
          We went to Coldstone once and did not really think it was that good plus it was very expensive. Handels is much cheaper and the servings are very large.

      2. Sounds like the kind of place I would avoid.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DenT

          Just this weekend I made the choice between Brusters and Cold Stone which were just across the street from one another. What tipped the scale to Brusters? not having to hear the damn tip-singing. But now the OP has made me feel like a jaded b*&^%. ;-)

          This city has not one single non-chain ice cream parlor. When someone local opens an ice cream parlor, they proudly display a sign that says "serving Edy's ice cream" or something else horrid.

          Cold Stone is a step up from Marble Slab, IMO. Had I gone there, I would have ordered Coffee ice cream w/ Toffee and Almonds. A classic flavor combo that is hard to f-up.

        2. Thanks for such a great post. It made me smile. Sounds like the family had a great experience.

          Even though I'm not a fan of Cold Stone Creamery, it was interesting to see how it appeals to families.

          No, unfortanetly all Cold Stone Creameries don't have the happy staff. Most are pleasant with a few sullen teens, but it's hard to be unhappy around ice cream. Haven't heard any singing, but I'm almost tempted to go to one and throw something in the tip jar to see what happens.

          The ice cream itself is just ok, but the add ins pep up the taste and are fun as you said.

          Ice cream doesn't have to be gourmet for kids to love it. We have lots of ice cream trucks here serving little better than Good Humor and it always makes the kids happy.

          Thanks for sharing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rworange

            The "happy staff" are performing as part of their job description. I find it demeaning (to them) and embarrassing (to me).

          2. I've visted three across the country. They were all as you describe. I'm sure kids love it. I wanted to throw something at them, but I can see the appeal.

            1. Sometimes you sell the steak..but if the steak ain't that great
     sell the sizzle

              15 Replies
              1. re: Phu Bai

                You know, thinking about it, can anyone who is not a fan of Cold Stone think of a better option?

                Baskin Robbins has a better base ice cream, IMO, mainly because they use sugar rather than corn syrup in their ice cream. However, they don't have those mix-ins that is the draw of Cold Stone, singing and fun atmosphere aside.

                1. re: rworange
                  Janet from Richmond

                  Bruster's, while not having the mix-ins of Cold Stone, has far superior ice cream IMO. I find Cold Stone's ice cream waaaay too sweet and not flavoful at all unless you mix a lot of stuff in it. But I understand the appeal of it, especially for people with kids. It is a "fun" place. But even Friendly's has better ice cream and much better sundaes than Cold Stone.

                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                    A second vote for Bruster's. Not overly sweet, and I can taste a difference in terms of freshness compared to Baskin-Robbins.

                    1. re: BW Jill

                      I'm so-so on Brusters, but one of my co-workers has a serious habit. She says she will call the store and ask if they have chocolate pecan that day and the person who answers says "Yes, Mrs. F"

                  2. re: rworange
                    JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                    I can think of three much, much better options.

                    Mary Coyle, Phoenix AZ
                    Sugar Bowl, Scottsdale AZ
                    Angel Sweet, Chandler AZ

                    You may think the list doesn't do much good if you aren't in the greater Phoenix area, but it does show a good point: Small ice cream shops produce products leagues ahead of Baskin-Robbins, Haagen-Dazs, and Cold Stone.

                    And if you're ever anywhere *near* the Phoenix area, you really should try all three of them. Especially Angel Sweet... Oh. My. God.


                    1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                      Yeah, that was what I was hoping for. That people would give alternatives and not just gripe about Cold Stone.

                      My hat off to you for even offering suggestions for the better Cold Stone mix options. So, the wallpaper paste consistancy has a purpose to keep the mix ins glued together.

                      I'm beginning to wonder though about the family-orientedness of Cold Stone. Looking at their site they discuss 'cone cleavage'. Hmmm.

                      I still think the original post was sweet and gave me a different perspective on Cold Stone. Although, I hope the original poster does ask about other ice cream options on another board.

                      As silly as this might sound, in one sense, Cold Stone does promote a sense of seeking out better food and more 'gourmet' options.

                      I mean, when you were a kid, wasn't it SO exotic that Baskin Robbins had so many exotic flavors. Maybe that is what launched some of us into looking into gelatto or other more creative food.

                      Again, what is cool to a kid, isn't necessarily cool to an adult. Think of those little plastic wax candy bottles that probably had toxic stuff in them ... sigh ... I still think of those fondly.

                      1. re: rworange
                        JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                        Cold Stone has definitely been trying to skew more adult lately. It wouldn't surprise me if someone in their marketing department realized that they make more money off of adults since kids frequently don't get anything more than a small with the one complimentary mix-in, while grown-ups do bigger sizes with lots of mix-ins (60 cents for a single Reese's peanut butter cup? ACK!) and therefore make more money for the company.


                        1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                          Oh ... if they are marketing to adults, then they are evil. Maybe that's where the cone cleavage comes in. Sex in the creamery. Food porn.

                          Yeah, in that case they either need to up the quality of the ice cream or offer booze as mix-ins. I'd join in the singing then. I'll stop now on this subject. Really.

                      2. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                        I was recently in Phoenix. I wish I'd known about your three recommendations.

                        In Phoenix, I went to Marble Slab, a franchise that makes the same type of mix-ins as Cold Stone. I thought Marble Slab's ice cream was markedly better than Cold Stone.

                        To acknowledge the OP, ColdStone is a fun place and it's nice to watch kids enjoy ice cream.

                      3. re: rworange

                        Aside form the boutique purveyors out there, a better option than Stone Cold is Wegman's premium ice cream (I realize that not everyone has access to this). It reminds me very much of the wonderful Schwans super-premium pints that I used to get delivered, which is also available to a wider public. You can always check their website, linked below.


                        1. re: rworange

                          Christina's in Cambridge, MA. I live in NYC and it's still the best....a scoop of burnt sugar and scoop of mexican chocolate and i'm in heaven!

                          1. re: rworange

                            In the Bay, Double Rainbow for starters. Loards has better ice cream. There's at least one Ben & Jerry, in the Haight. And I agree, for someone like me who just wants a single scoop of good ice cream without all the stuff, Baskin Robbins is much better than Cold Stone.

                            1. re: Shep
                              NYC-Detroit Al

                              Ice cream in S.F.? It has to be Mitchell's on San Jose (right behind where I used to live on Dolores). Mexican chocolate, lemon chiffon, macapuno, heaven!!

                              1. re: NYC-Detroit Al

                                See, there's Mitchell's, and I didn't even start on the dozens at least of mom'n'pop gelaterias, yogurt shops, and frozen custard stands, many of which make their own proprietary recipes.

                                1. re: NYC-Detroit Al

                                  Thanks for the memories! I grew up right near Mitchell's...takes me back to my fave Mitchell's combo: Scoop of Chocolate on the bottom, scoop of orange sherbet on the top.