Ice cream brand first opened doors to Canadians September 5, 1971
September 5, 2021 marks 50 years of service to Canadians for Baskin-Robbins. From humble beginnings – one shop at the corner of Eglinton and Bathurst – the brand now has 105 locations, from Vancouver to Montreal, with plans for more in the works. Beloved by many, the brand’s history in Canada has been sweet, but has included rocky roads.
“We’ve experienced tough times about ten years ago,” says Mike Gooding, the longest-tenured representative of Baskin-Robbins in Canada with 34 years of service. “We were at a crossroads and, in hindsight, I’m relieved we picked the right path. Our business has been thriving ever since.”
The catalyst to renewed prosperity was, in large part, the introduction in 2012 of a new store design labelled “Happy 1.0” featuring bright and clean white tiles, pink and blue walls with various seating capacity, in each of the brand’s existing shops. One year after the remodel, average sales for the vast majority, if not all Baskin-Robbins franchisees, had increased substantially.
Today, the brand is on the cusp of launching in Canada its newest in-store design, Moments, an evolution of the concept that first turned things around.
“We’ve hit our stride, especially in relation to keeping our classics flavours while, at the same time, innovating continually,” says Anna Colacchio, the brand’s second longest-tenured representative in Canada with 33 years of service. “There’s always something new and yet you’ll still find the reliable and comforting favourites.”
Other elements that have propelled the brand forward in Canada have included the launch and expansion of pre-packs, “Celebrate 31” discounts on the 31st of the month, new frozen beverages and non-dairy ice cream options, Creature Creations 1.0 and 2.0, a growing assortment of cakes and delivery, which is now offered at almost every location in the country.
“The challenges we’ve faced over the past decade, and especially these past two years, have demonstrated the strength of our bond with Canadians, but also the importance of our mission,” says Natalie Joseph, spokesperson for the brand in Canada. “As our founder, Irv Robbins once said, ‘we sell fun, not ice cream’, and demand for wholesome and simple fun is definitely on the rise.”
This month, Baskin-Robbins invites Canadians to try Creature Creations 2.0., Into the Sea, the playful trio of ice cream featuring a Shark, Dolphin and Turtle. Throughout September, thirty-one cents from each purchase of Creature Creations will be directed to BGC Canada (formerly Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada). Partners since 2017, the combined efforts of Baskin-Robbins Canada and BGC Canada have helped to raise more than $75,000 in support of national programs tackling social issues, encouraging and empowering youth, and helping them set a path for success. Learn more at baskinrobbins.ca and bgccan.com.
About Baskin-Robbins Canada
Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 by two ice cream enthusiasts who shared a dream to create an innovative ice cream shop that would be a neighbourhood gathering place for families. Today, Baskin-Robbins Canada operates 105 locations in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia. More than 300 million people around the world visit Baskin-Robbins each year to sample from the more than 1,300 flavour creations available in its ice cream library, as well as enjoy its full array of frozen treats including ice cream cakes.
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