Coming To Terms with Cold Stone Creamery

Look, Cold Stone, we need to have a talk. We got off to a bad start, now, didn’t we?

Do you remember when we met?

It was a few years ago. Went to see a movie with Lauren, Hetal and Andrew and afterwards we stopped by your counter at the Phipps location. Hetal said you were all the rage. That we could choose any topping we wanted and that your people would chop it up into the ice cream on a marble slab. Never before have so many people uttered the words “marble slab.” You’ve improved our vocabulary, Cold Stone.

But I was too blind to see that then. I was focused on my needs and my needs only. And my needs, that night, involved an order so grotesque that little children screamed when I announced it.

“Adam don’t!” pleaded Hetal, Lauren and Andrew. “It’s not worth it!”

“No,” I insisted, “It will be delicious! Give me vanilla ice cream with Twix and strawberries.”

The hush that overwhelmed your station in the mall, Cold Stone, was palpable. Everyone stared as the counterman gulped and began assembling my creation. I must have been mad! And yet I was sincere. It did sound delicious to me at the time. You can understand that, can’t you Cold Stone? And after all: you offer both toppings to the consumer, don’t you? Might you accept some small share of responsibility?

Well suffice it to say that the first spoonful went down rough. I feigned delight but I was really–like the ice cream–melting on the inside. It was awful. I vowed never to see you again. Rash? Yes. But necessary. Who knows what I would attempt if I didn’t cut myself off? Pickles in chocolate? Cabbage in Coffee? I was in a very bad place back then.

Tonight, though, Lauren and I gazed upon you at your midtown location while we studied for the bar. Your shiny new surface beckoned to me. “Come,” you seemed to be whispering, “Come again, Adam, allay your fears. I am your friend! Won’t you embrace my marble slab?”

I echoed your words: “Won’t you embrace my marble slab?”

“Excuse me?” snapped Lauren.

“Let’s go to Cold Stone!” I said, and before I knew it we were inside.

Here, now, free from the memory of the Twix-Strawberry Disaster of 2001, I was like a kid in a candy story. So was Lauren:

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We skipped around in diapers and yelled “Mommy mommy I wanna a lollipop!” until the manager came out and asked if he could help us.

I let Lauren go first. I listened carefully as she placed her order. One small misstep and our connection would be forever severed.

“Mudpie,” said Lauren choosing from a list of already assembled toppings and ice cream flavors. Hers would contain coffee ice cream, chocolate syrup and brownies. A noble choice, don’t you think? You’re so enigmatic, Cold Stone. It’s like your heart is a…cold…stone.

And now I was up to bat. What would I choose? How to pick? There were so many choices.

“Ahem,” said the counter person.

“Coconut cream pie!” I said, choosing a choice that seemed promising.

Lauren shook her head. “You always pick the weird ones,” she said.

But I caught a glimmer in your eye, Cold Stone. I knew I stumbled upon something great. I watched carefully as your men got to work on their marble slab:

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Vanilla ice cream, graham cracker crumbs, coconut and whipped cream. You’re the devil, you are, Cold Stone.

I was handed my cup. I gazed nervoulsy inside:

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Would we make it? Will the old wounds heal?

Oh and how, Cold Stone! It was delicious. All the flavors melding like the cast of Kate and Alley. A perfect assemblage by an ice cream genius. That’s right, Cold Stone, I’m calling you a genius. Well played, my friend. I’m back on board.

48 comments

  1. Yeah, too overpriced for my taste. I’d rather gorge myself on Brusters.

    Mmmm. Brusters.

    ps. they just opened a new location at midtown 8! *pumps fist up and down in victory-esque style*

  2. Adam, there is a Cold Stone Creamery a couple blocks away from our building and I’m yet to step into the shop. I was brought a small tub of their Pistachio (with added pistachios mixed in) last week. I ate a couple spoonfuls of it and was so disappointed I left the rest. Wrong flavor perhaps?

  3. They came to Austin last year, but I never see anyone inside when I drive by. We’ve already had the cream + crushin’s thing going here for twenty something years with awesome locally made stuff that’s mixed by wierd people. And then there’s the Marble Slab plant from Houston. Maybe I’ll try it if I’m in a strange city… Sorry about the Twix/strawberries combo. It sounded good, like a Ben and Jerry’s Brittania something ice cream my friend Grace likes. Lord, this is a long comment.

  4. I am so disappointed in you. How dare you patronize an ice cream parlor that is not Jake’s. This is true sacrilege. I may have to rouse an angry mob and burn you at the stake.

    Though I myself was once tempted by the devil of Cold Stone myself, by a sign that promised a “Cake Batter” flavored ice cream. I added fresh raspberries and chocolate, and the combo was beyond delicious. But then I beat my demons and I have never returned. May you heed the same warning, AG!

  5. If I’m not mistaken, Jake’s is gone. We used to have a stitch’n’bitch there and they closed their doors months ago. Now it’s called West Egg Cafe and while they admittedly serve really great sandwiches there is no ice cream to be found.

    I don’t think Jake’s moved either unless there was another location I don’t know about. If so please let me know!! They had KICK ASS ice cream.

    And I first had this yummy concept at the Marble Slab in Austin TX. Oh how happy I was to see something like it here in the ATL.

  6. “Won’t you embrace my marble slab?”

    OMG. That is like the funniest thing ever. I’m sitting here at my desk laughing so hard, and people around me are like “What? What’s so funny?” To alay any sexual harassment suits, I won’t tell them. Even though I should.

    Cold Stone is so good, though. By the way, people, work with me here. You pay for something that’s good. Crushed things in ice cream is always good. Shell out the cash.

    :)

  7. Actually I like Cold Stone better than Marble Slab. Especially the cake batter with pound cake and strawberries *drool*. Too bad their servings are so large I can’t finish it :(

    A Ben and Jerry’s scoop shop just opened in Houston and they have the baby scoop as a serving size. Now if only Cold Stone would do the same, I would be one happy gal ;)

  8. Cold Stone is good, but I can’t stand the cloying names they’ve given their portion sizes: Like It (Small), Love It (Medium), and Gotta Have It! (Large). I feel like such a jackass ordering a “Birthday Cake Remix, no waffle cup, Gotta Have It!.”

  9. Louis, Smarten up how could you even compare Jakes ice cream to COLDSTONE. Everytime I eat coldstone I find myself licking the spoon and the cup, like a 6 year old. I do agree with Charlie though when ordering the sizes (that’s why I don’t even bother saying like it, love it or gotta have it) say small med or large. Coldstone is phenominal. Just looking at their flavors on the website makes me want to go to 1. I’m signing off and going now. Bye

  10. I live in Minnesota, and we have quite a few locations here (Savage, Downtown Minneapolis in Block E, and Uptown Minneapolis to name a few).

    I suppose I am a little biased when I say I love Cold Stone, especially since I work at the Uptown location.

    Try our smoothies, they are good.

    Just to let you in on a secret, COld Stone has a corporate plan to have over 1000 shops by the year 2005. They have over 800 so far, and more are openening by the minute. Scared me when I first heard, and I work for the people =D.

    “Won’t you embrace my marble slab?”

    Nice one =D

  11. I just came from Cold Stone. I had a chocolate-coconut cone with coconut ice cream, brownie, and pineapple mixed in. What a disappointment! All aforementioned components sucked. The chocolate on the cone was of very poor quality — cheap waxy chocolate. The brownie wasn’t fresh, the ice cream was too sweet, and the pineapple came from a can!

    Patronize the little guys, avoid chains, and keep it simple!

  12. We just opened a Cold Stone in Hamilton, NJ. I actually just started working there a few days ago. Everyone that has come in so far has trouble uttering their choice over their drool and profound awe. Our policy is simple: if you don’t like it, we’ll take it back and give you something else. You can’t go wrong with Cold Stone. And to no surprise, we haven’t had anyone return their ice cream yet.

  13. i never really used to like coldstone. it always made me sick because there was so much ice cream. but now i work at one and still have trouble deciding what i want for my free meal. granted, the ice cream is overly expensive… but it’s ridiculously expensive to produce. i was stuck in the back all night last night making ice cream. it takes 2.5 gallons of sweet cream to make 2 pans of ice cream. each 1/2 gallon is $37. then there is the cost of the flavorings and maintenance of the machine. i appreciate the ice cream more when i’m the one stuck in the back making it. the only thing that sucks is the pay and not getting benefits. coldstone is a great franchise… they just need to pay their employees better for putting up with all the crap we get from customers and doing all the store upkeep. so next time you’re in a coldstone, be nice. we’re probably pretty pissed because the line is out the door and we close in five minutes. those are the worst nights. damn this is long

  14. Forget Coldstone. Too pricey and just not that good. They just opened a Carvel near me in the smyrna/vininga area (south cobb & the east-west connector). Great ice cream great ice cream cakes and great prices. Carvel is not a fad. They have been doing it forever. YUM

  15. Out of general principle I refuse to pay five dollars for a small ice cream. There is something seriously wrong when a family of five needs to spend $35-$40 dollars to treat his/her family to ice cream. That would be 1 large, 1 mediums and 2 smalls. It has nothing to do with whether or not one can afford it.

    I would rather seek out an independent shop that is just as good and half the price. Not to mention I feel better about patronizing a mom and pop shop then a corporate ice cream shop even if the Cold Stone location is a franchise.

    I would not wish misfortune on anyone but I feel that Cold Stone is a bit of a fad and the people who spent 250k to 450k to open these will realize that all they did was lock in 60-70 hour work weeks for about 75k after franchise fees and expenses. By the way, they also have no benefits.

  16. I have been working at a Coldstone location in Michigan for six months. The ‘Coming to terms with Coldstone Creamery article” does have it’s points, but it’s important to remember that you can’t judge the entire company based on one location. If one or two employees or crew leaders are not providing the “Ultimate Ice Cream Expiernce” then it’s just at one location. My managers/crewleaders really push for providing the ultimate ice cream expiernce, including asking all questions and bveing the best you can be. Other locations may be differant. Coldstone strides for quality, and they often come and inspect our store, these surprise visits are called “scoops” and they are very strict with customer service, how clean the store is, and the overall customer expiernce

    Also, the information about the creation that Laruen ordered is false. First off, the original is not called ‘Mudpie” but Mud pie mojo” and it has roasted almonds, peanut butter, oreo, fudge and wipped toping. Not fudge brownies. But it is made with coffee ice cream, which we make with real coffee grounds, just like how the Bonana ice cream is made with real bonanas and how the Cake Batter ice cream is made with real cake better.

    Also- the crew member serving you should have said something like “Try that and if you don’t love that I’ll make you something new” and that’s our garentee that you will love our ice cream. If you take a few bites, and don’t care for it, they will throw it away and make you someting new.

  17. I have been working at a Coldstone location in Michigan for six months. The ‘Coming to terms with Coldstone Creamery article” does have it’s points, but it’s important to remember that you can’t judge the entire company based on one location. If one or two employees or crew leaders are not providing the “Ultimate Ice Cream Expiernce” then it’s just at one location. My managers/crewleaders really push for providing the ultimate ice cream expiernce, including asking all questions and bveing the best you can be. Other locations may be differant. Coldstone strides for quality, and they often come and inspect our store, these surprise visits are called “scoops” and they are very strict with customer service, how clean the store is, and the overall customer expiernce

    Also, the information about the creation that Laruen ordered is false. First off, the original is not called ‘Mudpie” but Mud pie mojo” and it has roasted almonds, peanut butter, oreo, fudge and wipped toping. Not fudge brownies. But it is made with coffee ice cream, which we make with real coffee grounds, just like how the Bonana ice cream is made with real bonanas and how the Cake Batter ice cream is made with real cake better.

    Also- the crew member serving you should have said something like “Try that and if you don’t love that I’ll make you something new” and that’s our garentee that you will love our ice cream. If you take a few bites, and don’t care for it, they will throw it away and make you someting new.

  18. does anyone have coldstones corporate address? i want to send them a critique of their stores( not flattering)

    thanks

  19. Carvel is in business for 70 yrs and has the best quality around.From cakes to fountain items and boxed novelties they cant be beat.Lets see if cold stone will be here in 5 yrs.I believe its a fad

  20. COLD STONE IS THE BEST ICE CREAM EVER, I HAVE TRIED ALL AND NONE ARE AS GOOD AS COLDSTONE, I CANT WAIT FOR THEM TO OPEN STORES IN OKLAHOMA

  21. Carvel Ice Cream rules! Have you tried Carvel’s Cake Batter yet? It is to die for. And their soft serve ice creams can’t be beat. There is a new Carvel store open near me off Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb bordering Roswell. Carvel East Cobb not only has great ice cream, but is very clean and friendly. I highly recommend it!

  22. I’ve had both, and there is no comparison; Marble Slab Creamery is far superior to Cold Stone Creamery. Marble Slab’s ice cream is much richer and heavier and flavorful, while Cold Stone’s is more like whipped cream and not nearly as rich. I go to Marble Slab all the time, but I don’t ever go to Cold Stone. And to whoever mentioned Bruster’s Ice Cream, all I have to say is YUCK!!! Brusters is the worst ice cream I’ve ever had. It doesn’t even taste like ice cream, it tastes like fluffy cool whip. I hate that kind of cool whip, fluffy type ice cream (or custard) or whatever they call it. Give me the real heavy, thick, cream loaded, incredibly rich and fattening real thing. If I wanted whipped cream, I’d open a tub of Cool Whip.

    For my money, Marble Slab, followed by Ben and Jerry’s and Hagen Daaz are the best. And as far as the “stone, mix in” places go, Marble Slab is far superior to either of the other two similar chains (Cold Stone and Maggie Moo’s).

  23. This was the funniest story i have ever heard about ice cream, but i understand.. who could say NO to Cold Stones Forever

  24. What is everyone talking about. Coldstone’s IceCream is the best Icecream ever tasted by east west connector. Hey how about you all try the fabulous BIRTHDAY CAKE REMIX. It come with a brownie, chocolate fudge, sprinkles, and cake batter IceCream. But if you dont like the cake batter IceCream you can exchange it for anyother icecream. I, Myself, prefer french vanilla Icecream but…….. thats just me!

  25. Cold stone’s is awesome and pretty cheap if you have 3 people and split a quart!

  26. I’ve been working at the coldstone in huntsville ever since it opened. Right across the street we have a brusters. Lets just say we OWN brusters when it comes to buisness. I remember before we had coldstone, i’d eat at brusters, i was in love with their tinlizzy. But i still remember the first day of training, when i got to try the icecream as it was being pulled out of the icecream maker, how PERFECT the icecream tastes. Lots of people like to comment on the price, it is pricey, but alot of people dont get it, the difference between a like and a gotta have it size is MAYBE 2 dollars. If you cant eat it all, ask for a LID! take it home, you can eat it later. And i keep reading about people saying they hated the icecream, if you payed attention in the store, you’d clearly see our PROMISE, if you dont LOVE it, tell us, and we will make something you DO love for free. all i have to say is IF YOUR HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT TAKE A BITE! CAUSE YOU KNOW THAT ONLY COLDSTONE DOES IT RIGHT! SO WE”LL RAISE OUR VOICE AND HOLLER JUST TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR DOLLAR AND WE HOPE TO SEE YOU BACK TOMORRO NIGHT!

  27. Cold Stone is already a dying chain. I know of at least a dozen locations that are now closed up, after the big “faddish” growth.

    The reality is that most consumers don’t WANT to “invent their own flavor”, but they want a properly engineered and manufactured flavor. That’s why Baskin-Robbins and Ben & Jerry’s stay so firmly entrenched. B/R in particular is a master at combining new flavors that make sense, and taste good!

    Cold Stone’s base ice cream is gummy and flavorless, perhaps can be used for putting up wallpaper. Apparently the big labor costs at Cold Stone make them mostly unprofitable investments.

    Long live Baskin-Robbins!

  28. Loong before I had even heard of The Cold Stone I had visited MaggieMoo’s and I was in heaven. They have basically the same gimmick, lots of crazy ice creams with fixin’s to have mixed in. The only difference was the style of the franchise. I was pulled away from Baskin Robbins immediately and never went back. I used to think MaggieMoos was awesome but all of a sudden they dissapeared on me (they closed down a lot of them and went to a “high end” shopping stip). I think I tried Marble Slab once and I thought it was also good. They don’t even have a Baskin Robbins where I kive not though. For whatever reason they are cheapstakes who prefer frozen custard (which isn’t even all that good!!!).

  29. Cold Stone is a joke. They don’t even use eggs and they dump corn syrup in to sweeten it. It’s not real ice cream. It is a concept that deserves a quick death.

  30. I would like their address too – I actually ordered a medium because i didn’t want too much icecream and she put it in a large. I think I may have been overcharged as well. I used to like Cold Stone, but am really feeling annoyed about it and refuse to go back again, ever. Odd that they don’t have any contact info on their website either. . . .

  31. After two utterly dismal experiences at the franchise store in Wilton CT, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m never going back.

    The first time I bought a cake which was brick hard, stale and freezer burned.

    When I returned there was nothing that they could do for me about the cake because the store manager was not there that day. After getting in contact with the store manager I returned a third time and got my refund…which I made the mistake of spending on the spot to get ice cream for myself and my kids.

    Such an inferior product to what else is available around here! Oh and what a treat it was that the kid behind the counter had to turn the music waaay up while we we in the store. We were the only customers there at the time. I guess he figured my 4 year olds had the same musical tastes as he……just obnoxious…

  32. you haven’t had anything until you have delicious Grater’s but you’d have to live in the cincinnati area for that speciality

  33. Anyone who says Cold Stone’s ice cream sucks is crazy. It is amazing! The first time I tasted it I fell in love with it. Yeah, you that have had bad experiences have some reason to be upset, but give it another chance! There’s been a million times I’ve been pissed off at McDonald’s or some other well-known place. Nobody/nowhere is perfect! And for whoever said the franchises aren’t very successful, take a look at this.

  34. Cold Stone is amazing! You might not get it right the first time so ask your server for suggestions. (They have probably tried many of the creations) If you stick to the Originals, you won’t be disappointed. My favorite is the Berry Lemony smoothie or the Founder’s Favorite creation!!! Have a Yummy Summer!!!!! I know I will!

  35. I just recently started working at coldstone and I tried a few of their icecreams and I personally loved them!…Banana icecream truly IS the best and the birthday remix is good too. Things really are a bit pricey but its totally worth it, and if you don’t like something do yourself a favor and NOT go back instead of complaing like babies…

  36. I just recently started working at coldstone and I tried a few of their icecreams and I personally loved them!…Banana icecream truly IS the best and the birthday remix is good too. Things really are a bit pricey but its totally worth it, and if you don’t like something do yourself a favor and NOT go back instead of complaing like babies…

  37. I just recently started working at coldstone and I tried a few of their icecreams and I personally loved them!…Banana icecream truly IS the best and the birthday remix is good too. Things really are a bit pricey but its totally worth it, and if you don’t like something do yourself a favor and NOT go back instead of complaing like babies…

  38. I just recently started working at coldstone and I tried a few of their icecreams and I personally loved them!…Banana icecream truly IS the best and the birthday remix is good too. Things really are a bit pricey but its totally worth it, and if you don’t like something do yourself a favor and NOT go back instead of complaing like babies…

  39. I just recently started working at coldstone and I tried a few of their icecreams and I personally loved them!…Banana icecream truly IS the best and the birthday remix is good too. Things really are a bit pricey but its totally worth it, and if you don’t like something do yourself a favor and NOT go back instead of complaing like babies…

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