A Florida-based ice cream shop with quirky decor and flavors such as coffee and donuts and ginger snappy plans to open a shop along the Grand Strand in the next year to 18 months.
Sloan’s Ice Cream, which has four shops in West Palm Beach., Fla., plans to bring its unique style to the Myrtle Beach area through a franchising plan that could lead to 200 locations in the United States in the next seven years or so.
The company, which registered to expand in all 50 states, is first targeting what it considers the most attractive markets for its brand, including additional spots in Florida and the Carolinas, California, Georgia, New York and New England.
The Myrtle Beach area is particularly appealing because it is similar to Sloan’s current market in Florida, with lots of tourists and a warmer winter climate, said Sloan Kamenstein, a classically trained chef and the mastermind behind the operation who opened the first shop in 1999 along Clematis Street in West Palm Beach.
“We’ve had some interest from people in your area,” he said. “I’d like to see a shop there in the next 12 to 18 months.”
Sloan’s would join a flurry of ice cream and yogurt shops along the Grand Strand, from chains such as Cold Stone Creamery, Ben & Jerry’s and Sweet Frog premium yogurt, which is opening more locations in the area, to locally owned spots such as Painters Ice Cream and Mad Myrtle’s.
Sloan’s, which hasn’t yet picked a spot to open along the Grand Strand, has a mix of crazy decor and unique ice cream flavors crafted by the founder, who studied at London’s Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and trained in kitchens in France.
The shop on Clematis Street in Florida has a neon green exterior and pink walls inside, with a moving model train at a kid’s eye level. The shop also is known for its bathroom -- the Travel Channel previously named it one of the 10 best bathrooms -- because it has windows on the doors that automatically fog for privacy when they are closed.
“The design of the store and the way it looks is a big part of the experience,” Kamenstein said. “We wanted it to have an over-the-top kind of feel.”
Sales have grown for Sloan’s every year since it opened, Kamenstein said, adding that the down economy hasn’t hurt his business.
“The economy has not affected us at all really,” Kamenstein said. “An ice cream cone, toy or candy are not so costly that people can’t afford to come and have an inexpensive treat. It’s still affordable.”
The shops sell sundaes, fudge and even toys. Some of the ice cream flavors Kamenstein has come up with include Scouts Honor made with Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, Mom’s Apple Pie, Circus with cotton candy ice cream and gummy bears and coffee and donuts, which is coffee ice cream with Krispy Kreme donuts mixed in. A two-scoop cup of ice cream costs about $4.99.
“That’s the fun part, really,” Kamenstein said of creating the flavors, adding that he can’t pick a favorite; it depends on his mood. “There’s always a friend with an idea of what you should do next.”
Despite the crazy flavors, an old stand-by is Sloan’s best seller: Vanilla.
Sloan’s has spent a year developing the franchise plan.
“Over the years we’ve had many, many people come in asking about opening Sloan’s in their hometown,” Kamenstein said. “The time was right to maybe explore that possibility.”
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