What’s better than plain old cookies? How about cookies sandwiched around ice cream? Well, if you live around a CREAM shop, you’re in luck. The ice cream sandwich shop first opened its doors in Berkeley, California in 2010. And since then, the company has expanded to nine different locations throughout the state. And it’s expanding even more in the coming months. Learn more about this sweet business venture in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does:
Sells ice cream sandwiches.
Each CREAM location provides 20 different cookie flavors and 20 different ice cream flavors that customers can mix and match.
Pairing quality and affordability.
All of CREAM’s cookies are warm and freshly baked. But each cookie sandwich only costs a couple dollars. Jimmy Shamieh, CEO of CREAM says:
“The cool ice cream paired with warm fresh-baked cookies is a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth experience you can only find at CREAM. On top of that, each sandwich is $2, making it a great experience that won’t break the bank. Our products are premium quality, made from our own delicious proprietary recipes.”
How the Business Got Started:
Because of a family tradition.
Shamieh and his family used to love putting ice cream between their mom’s freshly baked cookies. So in 2010, the family brought that tradition to the masses by opening the first CREAM location in Berkeley.
How the Business Got its Name:
From a fun acronym.
CREAM is an acronym for “Cookies Rule Everything Around Me.”
Expanding to new locations.
When the Shamieh family first launched CREAM, it was just a small mom-and-pop shop. But they quickly realized that their idea had the potential to grow into new markets. So they turned to a franchise system and have expanded quickly.
Have all financials in order.
Though the business has made it through its difficult early years, Samieh says he wishes they had been better prepared with financial resources early on.
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000:
Give away 50,000 ice cream sandwiches.
Since all of CREAM’s ice cream sandwiches cost $2, that amount of money could provide a lot of people with free sandwiches. And by giving them away, the business could gain a lot of exposure and potential new customers down the road.
The company has 25 corporate employees, with more at various franchise locations.
In addition to preparing the cookie sandwiches, employees at each location also create a fun environment for visitors. Shamieh explains:
“Don’t be surprised if you walk in to one of our stores and find team members singing and dancing while preparing your order. It’s not unusual to have a spontaneous dance-off between the team members and customers.”
Favorite Team Food:
French fries dipped in a CREAM milkshake.
If the Business Were a Song:
“That’s Amore” by Dean Martin.
“The song portrays the love a person realizes when they have something special before them. Our aim is to ensure that every person that walks through the doors of a CREAM store falls in love with the product in their hand.”
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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program.