Hot Summer Days, Cool Summer Treats
- Restaurant Brokers interview 16 Handles and Leopolds Ice Cream
- Restaurant Brokers: Hot Summer Days, Cool Summer Treats
- Restaurant Reality- The reality about running a seasonal business all year long!
Are you looking to franchise your company overseas? How do you know when you are ready? What are the challenges of international expansion versus domestic expansion and where can you get help? This week, the restaurant brokers along with CEO of Buffalo's Cafe and CEO of YoBlendz and JuiceBlendz tackle international franchising.
Industry Guests Join the Restaurant Brokers
Leopolds Ice Cream was founded in 1919 by three immigrant brothers from Greece: George, Peter, and Basil Leopold. They learned the art of candy and dessert from an uncle who had already settled in America. The brothers perfected the secret formulas and created the world famous Leopold’s VeriBest ice cream. They opened their own ice cream parlor on the corner of Gwinnett and Habersham streets in Savannah, where two streetcar lines intersected. Many a rider would jump off the streetcar and entreat the motorman to wait as they got a frozen delight!
Generations of Savannahians have loved Leopolds ice cream. Everyone remembers the fabulous malts, milk shakes, black and white sodas, banana splits and many more. Famed lyricist Johnny Mercer grew up a block away from Leopold’s and was a faithful customer when he was home from Hollywood. He even told Peter he would write a song about Leopold’s famous Tutti-Frutti ice cream, which had become a Leopolds hallmark and Savannahs favorite.
The original Leopolds Ice Cream shop closed in 1969. Stratton Leopold, the youngest child of Peter Leopold, kept many of the original fixtures in storage while he pursued his dreams of working in Hollywood.
On August 18 of 2004, Stratton and his wife Mary officially reopened the legendary family business. The new location on downtown Savannahs bustling Broughton Street was designed by Academy Award nominated set designer Dan Lomino. The original fixtures Stratton had kept were used, including the black marble soda fountain and wooden interior phone booth. The shop has a beautiful old-fashioned flair with some modern decorative additions – posters and props from Stratton Leopolds film career.
We hope that Leopolds will continue to work its way into the hearts of further generations, in Savannah and beyond as a place to find Good Things to Eat. Good Things to Drink.
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- www.leopoldicecream.com Website
- Leopolds Ice Cream
Over the years he learned the operations side of the franchise business, starting as a busboy and graduating to managerial positions that eventually led to a vice president role in the family business. Later, working as a Director for a hospitality Group that included a Gelato franchise and full service restaurants in Los Angeles, Solomon Choi, CEO Solomon gained even more business operations knowledge as his responsibilities increased to managing food costs, margins, leases and more.
Recognizing a niche market in selfserve, frozen yogurt, Solomon studied the dessert business firsthand by apprenticing in one of the original self-serve frozen yogurt shops in California. He parlayed that knowledge by taking his deep industry insights and relocating to New York to launch 16 Handles, where the brand has since exploded into a regional phenomenon. In 2008 the very first 16 Handles opened in New York Citys East Village.
At the time, there were nine direct competitors within a four block radius. Through smart marketing that merges grassroots, social and strong PR efforts, Solomon pioneered the concept into what is now over 40 operating locations across the east coast. Today the company remains well poised for continued growth and has since incorporated a corporate chef to help drive flavor recipe innovation.
A multiple time guest panelist for NYU Sterns Annual Marketing Conference, Solomon has been featured on MSN, CNBC, Bloomberg News, ABC News, Fox Business and in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, among many others. He is a graduate of the Marshall School of Business at USC with a degree in Marketing.
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- www.16handles.com Website
- 16 Handles