Franchisees Harpreet (holding scissors)and Daljit Gill cut the ribbon with other franchisees and corporate executives on the new design for Baskin-Robbins. Photo by Edward Smith.
Even as it rained outside, Fresno got the first taste Wednesday of an ice cream store’s national rebranding campaign before it begins to roll out next year.
Baskin-Robbins unveiled its new concept store, “Moments,” at 6761 N. Milburn Ave. in northwest Fresno. It promises to offer “an entirely new and engaging experience” for ice cream lovers that executives say will bring the brand into the future.
“We believe this makes us more modern and more relevant,” said Jason Maceda, senior vice president for Baskin-Robbins. “We believe that the results are going to be incredible.
The stores under the concept they have dubbed “Moments” will feature a more interactive menu, with novelty items like chocolate dipped bananas to ice cream and smoothie bars to “Polar Pizza,” alongside its usual array of ice cream and beverage flavors.
This is the first of what will become the norm for all of Baskin-Robbins’ new stores and what old stores can expect when they undergo remodels, which happens every 10 years, according to Maceda.
“California, especially Fresno is our core market,” said Maceda. “What better place to test than in our core where our customers have known us.”
All Baskin Robbins locations, which operate under the Dunkin’ Brand of stores, are run by franchisees. The new store is owned by brothers Harpreet and Daljit Gill, who own four other stores from Madera to Porterville. This is their first store in Fresno.
“We were an underserved area here in this particular neighborhood,” said Harpreet. “Location-wise, I think we hit the nail on the head.”
The store near Save Mart Supermarket and George Brown Fitness features what the company calls a more modern design with brighter colors and a Fresno-themed mural on the wall.
One of the directions the store wanted to take was making it more inviting for customers to stay five, ten or 20 minutes to enjoy their frozen treats, said Carol Austin, vice president of marketing.
The store is larger than other stores, which Harpreet said are “really compact.” At just under 1,400 square feet, it offers room for 15-20 people inside and 20-25 people outside.
The Dunkin’ Brands umbrella recently underwent a rebranding itself, dropping the “Donuts” from its name earlier this year.
The move comes as artisan ice cream shops have opened up across the city like Ampersand Ice Cream, G’s Creamery and Roll Me Some, to name a few.
“For years, we’ve been working with the brand to make ourselves relevant again to bring us up to the current standard of where some of our competition is,” said Harpreet. “If we can’t compete, we can’t survive. We’re really excited to be here in this store with these features.”
A grand opening will be held Dec. 8 from noon 4 p.m. when ice cream scoops will be 99 cents.