Two years after Cold Stone Creamery opened its doors at the Guam Premier Outlets it is set to open a second location at the Micronesia Mall. Located on the first floor of the theater wing Ernesto "Jun" V. Espaldon Jr. general manager of Cold Stone told the Journal "We’re looking at opening in late July. I suppose if you wanted to be conservative early August but late July is when we’re targeting"¦ so midsummer."

The new store will be about 1 200 square feet. "Compared to this store that is about a 10% to 12% increase. It’s bigger. Cold Stone Creameries range from an average 1 000 to 1 400 square feet." The new location will be able to seat 12 customers inside the store and 20 to 25 outside. There will be between 20 to 25 employees. During the day the store will run on a staff of four and at night a staff of six.

He would not say how much was invested into preparing the new location for its opening but he did give the Cold Stone estimates. "The investments run between $300 000 to $450 000. I suppose that includes the franchise fee. Because we make everything fresh here there is a fair amount of equipment that is purchased. We have walk-in freezers and fridges and ice cream makers. When you add all those things up the equipment is actually pretty expensive."

Espaldon said he would like the new store to keep the same hours of operation as the Guam Premier Outlets location but it might be difficult. "One of the things we’re still examining is the mall on Sunday closes at 6 p.m. whereas GPO closes at 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. We need to see what kind of traffic we have there. For the most part we’re going to keep the same hours where we close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and then on Fridays and Saturdays close at midnight." Cold Stone opens at 10 a.m. everyday.

He said the franchise was patient about waiting for the right location to open up at the mall before opening up their second location. "Everyone was always saying "Why don’t you open up at the mall?" We needed to wait for the location that would best suit us and that was to be outside the gates that close. Accessibility was important for us."

Cold Stone is a U.S. franchise with more than 1 300 stores in operation. Espaldon said the concept behind Cold Stone is "Making premium ice cream fresh in the store everyday. Our ice cream is actually made on the premises."

Part of the Cold Stone experience is customizing your order. "We have over 35 different mix-ins all types of candies nuts and fruits that you are able to mix in. The mixing is done on a granite stone frozen down to 16 degrees hence the name cold stone from the stone where the mixing is done and then creamery because they make the stuff here. When you look at the combinations you can make it’s in the thousands. I hate to sound cliché but the possibilities are endless."

Coinciding with the opening of the mall location Cold Stone will be releasing a line of new products at both stores. "There should be a new smoothie line in effect. We should have a new milkshake formula and new sizes." Espaldon added "Cold Stone tries its best to be innovative."

Cold Stone’s GPO location opened July 10 2004. MBJ