Puerto Rican company Island Creamery, Inc. (ICI), exclusive operator of the Baskin-Robbins franchise in Puerto Rico, continues to bet on the local market with a $1.1 million investment to totally remodel its San Patricio Village store in Guaynabo with the new and innovative design it will use to open new stores and remodel existing ones for the chain.
The San Patricio store, which opened its doors in 1977 and quickly became the highest selling store worldwide, will reopen to the public on November 22. The new store will employ 22 people who join the current team, for a total of 250 employees.
The renovated Baskin-Robbins store in San Patricio boasts exterior and interior architecture new to the Puerto Rico market that incorporates such modern elements as exposed cement and fascia in contemporary materials, among others. It also has an expanded topping station with many more choices for consumers to create their favorite sundaes.
The San Patricio location will offer items that are new to the Baskin-Robbins experience, including two unique products: waffle cones freshly made on site and a delicious selection of ice cream bars with the favorite ice cream flavors made by hand and covered in classic or white chocolate.
Following the acquisition in 2016 of the Baskin-Robbins franchise by ICI—a member of the Grupo Larrea, a local company with over 40 years of experience in the restaurant industry in Puerto Rico—a new era of possibilities began for the iconic brand of ice cream that has been part of the lives of Puerto Ricans for more than four decades, since 1976 specifically.
“Puerto Ricans have a special connection with the Baskin-Robbins brand that transcends generations. Since we acquired the operation in 2016, its growth has been sustained and solid, which is why we have the expectation that the new San Patricio store will become the highest selling store worldwide,” said Juan Antonio (Tony) Larrea, president of ICI. “From having been days away from disappearing from the Island, thanks to the support of our local consumers, Baskin-Robbins has been able to maintain over 200 people employed and has enjoyed a historic comeback,” added Larrea.
In the past year, the company has invested more than $3 million in the construction and remodeling of its stores. In the Dorado store—the first one that ICI opened after acquiring the exclusive franchise of the largest ice cream chain in the world—the company invested $1 million that resulted in the creation of 26 new jobs. On the other hand, the company invested another $1 million in the Plaza del Mar store in Hatillo, thus creating some 24 additional direct jobs. Such investments demonstrate the company’s confidence in the resilience of the Puerto Rico market.
ICI also confirmed that, in early 2020, it will break ground on the construction of two new stores for the chain at The Marketplace at Montehiedra in San Juan and on F.D. Roosevelt avenue in Hato Rey, both slated to open to the public next year. The chain’s remaining stores will be remodeled progressively to incorporate the new design standard in the coming years.
Another of the company’s recent accomplishments was the work carried out by its team at stores following Hurricane María, which garnered it recognition as Baskin-Robins Philanthropist of the Year 2017 from the franchise holder in the United States for the local initiative to provide food, water and fuel to many people in need throughout the Island. This initiative also earned the company the first recognition in Puerto Rico from the Franchising Gives Back organization. “The months following Hurricane María were critical because, after having been able to reopen stores in a few weeks, we became a gathering place for families to share happy moments. Ever since, they rediscovered the Baskin-Robbins experience and stayed with us,” said Larrea.
With its mission to “Serve Happiness in Every Visit”, the 23 Baskin-Robbins Stores on the Island offer the brand’s 31 flavors experience (including such favorites as “Pralines ‘n Cream”, “Mint Chocolate Chip” and “Cookies ‘n Cream”), elaborated using the highest quality ingredients and in a variety of products that includes ice cream cones, cups, sundaes, banana splits, thick shakes and others. The chain also offers ice cream cakes with the flavor and decoration of the consumer’s choice and to-go packaging to take home.
The new San Patricio store will open from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. from Sundays to Thursdays and from 11:00 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Baskin-Robbins® ice cream store chain is operated in Puerto Rico by Island Creamery Inc., a Larrea Group company. This local Group manages several restaurant chains on the Island since 1978. The first Baskin-Robbins store on the Island opened its doors in 1976, but it was in 2016 that the Larrea Group acquired the rights to operate the brand locally. Baskin-Robbins® is distinguished by its unique and delicious ice cream flavors. The promise of 31 flavors of ice cream is recognized worldwide. The chain is also known for its rich ice cream cakes and its delicious shakes. The mission of Baskin-Robbins on the island is: "Serve joy on every visit."
Baskin-Robbins has more than 8,000 stores in 55 countries around the world, including more than 2,500 stores in the United States and has been the favorite ice cream brand on the Island since 1976.