I’m addictied to “Cold Stone Creamery”:http://coldstonecreamery.com.
Yesterday, it was a medium (sorry, “Love it” size) Super-cream (sweet-cream) with almonds, caramel and bananas. The day before it was a small (umm, “Like it” size), sweet cream with bananas, pineapple and strawberry. How, do you ask, can I justify spending over $10 in two days on ice-cream? I can’t – but what I can say is this – part of the appeal of starbucks is the choices you get to make. Much has been made of people’s need to control a small portion of their lives, and ordering a double-tall, half-caf, soy-milk, mocha-latte gives them that power. If this is true, then you’re freakin’ superman at Cold Stone. Here is their gimmick – you ask for a flavor, let’s say Vanilla (however, “Sweet-cream” is by far the best). They take two very cold metal spoon-a-tullas, and get a big hunk of ice-cream from the tub. They then proceed to put it on a large cold stone on the counter (right in front of you). What happens next you ask? Well, they then put your choice of wonderful IN the ice-cream. Snickers, Gummi Bears, Almonds, Bananas, Reese’s peanut butter cups, straight peanut butter… They integrate them by making a little bowl out of the ice-cream with their two spoon-a-tulas, then they put the glory in the bowl, then fold and smash the very cold concuction.
Other things they’ve borrowed from Starbucks:
* The counter, and “behind the counter” take up a large, integral part of the retail floor
* The renaming of normal things to make them special
* The self-identity you get from being a “Chocolate, brownie, strawberry”.
Here is how they differ:
* Choice. Starbucks gives you what, 4 or 5 base drinks with maybe 10 different variables. CSC(Cold Stone Creamery) gives you an order of magnitude more.
* Singing… when you tip them (This I could do without!)
* A “menu” to get you started – Starbucks sort of did this, but CSC takes it MUCH “further”:http://www.coldstonecreamery.com/secondary/creation.asp, on their wall you’ll find “recipies” – much like you did inside boxes of “Jelly Bellys”:http://jellybelly.com/Cultures/en-US/Fun/Jelly+Belly+Recipes/Classic+Jelly+Belly+Recipes.htm
Is it pretenisous? Yes
Is it “just ice-cream”? probably
Is it great? You bet.
All-in-all a wonderful addiction.