More Than 13 Flavors
When Center Grove resident Charlie O’Connor contacted me to discuss the business he and his wife Diana own, Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream, I found myself thinking, “They are still around?” Then I realized that I had driven by it a hundred times, on the southwest corner of County Line Road and US 31. The store has been in the same location for 25 years, the O’Connors purchased it three years ago when the original owner retired.
They were looking for a business of their own, and although Charlie is not a big ice cream lover, he saw an opportunity to refresh one of America’s iconic brands. Competition in the ice cream world is growing rapidly but Baskin-Robbins has been serving up hard-packed ice cream since 1947. The story of the start of Baskin-Robbins is a classic. Two brothers-in-law, who were each running their own ice cream business decided they would be better together, and the rest is history (read the founder’s story: http://bit.ly/AtcgIceCream).
They now have over 1,000 varieties; the original 31 are derived from having one flavor for each day of the month. This store always has 44+ varieties available. One item that makes Baskin-Robbins unique is their specialty cakes. Don’t be surprised to see a turkey in the display case, an ice cream turkey, covered in caramel. If you want to surprise your host bring one with you to Christmas dinner, you will be the best-loved guest at the gathering.
Specialty theme cakes are a growth area for the business. Charlie says they now cre
ate more than 2,700 cakes a year and the demand continues to grow. Cake decorator, Crystal Braswell makes the cakes. She says people come in wanting a custom cake, not realizing the time it takes to create one. A “turkey” is a multi-step process of molding, freezing, assembling, “frosting,” and customizing. (See th
e creation of the ice cream “turkey” video here: http://bit.ly/AtcgTurkey.) Crystal also creates clown cones, Christmas rolls, birthday, Valentines, Easter, Father’s and Mother’s Day cakes and will custom create a cake with your choice of ice cream. O
rder at least 24-hours ahead, or choose from one of many in stock.
The most popular cakes are Father’s Day, followed by Mother’s Day. Charlie says they always stock up on cakes for Mother’s Day because dads don’t tend to pre-order. Valentines and Easter are also popular times for theme cakes. If you are looking for something for Christmas now is the time to get your order in. You might want to check out the”Yule Log” cake.
Charlie loves to get involved in the community. A portable ice cream cart creates an on location ice cream social and he and Diana will give away more than 750 scoops in the form of “Reading Rewards Coupons” to encourage kids to read. Baskin-Robbins has been scooping up favorites for three quarters of a century, and Charlie expects that he and Diana will be serving up “More Flavors, More Fun” and a lot more for years to come. cg
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