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Best Ice Cream Business Franchises

Just about everyone loves the delicious flavors of ice cream - all year round. Ice cream stores provide great desserts for all ages, and they are very popular for celebrating and just having a good time. Kids especially love their ice cream - and the parents don't mind taking them to get some.

As long as there are children - an ice cream franchise store will have plenty of customers. Here are ten of the best ice cream business franchises.

Baskin-Robbins Franchises

Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores started offering franchises in 1948 and now have 2,699 stores in the US and more than 3,100 in other countries. Many people are familiar with their 31 flavors of ice cream, as well as their cakes, sherbets, frozen yogurt and more. The franchise is now owned by Dunkin' Brands which also owns Dunkin' Donuts. There is a franchise fee of $30,000 and it will cost a minimum of $145,000 to open a Baskin-Robbins store. The franchisee will need to have a net worth of at least $250,000 and owners are required to be present in the business.

Dairy Queen Franchises

Dairy Queen specializes in serving soft-serve ice cream and that is what made it famous. The door to franchises was opened in 1944 and since then, many DQ's also offer other menu items from the grill, too. There are more than 4,500 franchises in the US, and an additional 1,500 more in other countries. Dairy Queen's may be found in most states, and also in Asia, Canada, and Mexico. The franchise fee is $25,000, and it will take a minimum of $700,000 to open a store. The franchisee must have a net worth of at least $750,000. Owners are not required to be present.

Cold Stone Creamery

This ice cream store started franchises in 1994. Since then, the Cold Stone Creamery has grown to 1,255 franchises in the US, and 138 in foreign countries. They are looking to expand these numbers in all 50 states and anywhere they can. There is a franchise fee of $42,000, and it will cost a minimum of $292,000 to open a store. Third party financing is allowed, but the franchisee will need a minimum of $125,000 in cash liquidity. Owners must work in the stores, but can own more than one store.

Rita's Italian Ice

Rita's started offering franchises in 1987, and it took off. Today, there are 550 franchises in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Rita's Italian Ice is looking to expand into three states at this time - Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama. There is a franchise fee of $35,000 and it will cost between $198,000 and $386,000 to open a store. Franchisees will need to have a net worth of $250,000. Some financing may be obtained from third parties.

Franchisees may own more than one store, and their physical presence is required.

Ben & Jerry's Franchises

The Ben & Jerry's Ice cream stores started franchising in 1981. Today there are 460 other franchise stores in the US and nearly that many in other countries - 380. Franchise fees are $32,000. Total cost to open a store will be a minimum of $173,000. The franchisee candidates will need to have a net worth of $350,000 for the first store, and $525,000 to have more than one. Third party financing is possible, but Ben & Jerry's does not finance. Owners must be physically present in the operation.

Dippin' Dots Franchising

Experimenting with flash-freezing ice cream, Curt Jones created what are now known as Dippin' Dots ice cream. Claiming it to be the coldest ice cream anywhere, Dippin' Dots has been franchising this ice cream with little balls ("dots") in it. Currently there are 486 franchises in the US, and one in Canada. The franchise fee is $12,500, and the actual startup costs will be between $80,428 and $235,250. The net worth requirement varies, and owners must also be present in the store operation. Owners may own more than one store. Dippin' Dots does not help with financing or allow third-party financing.

Yogen Fruz

This frozen yogurt company started in Toronto, Canada and started offering franchises in 1989. The company has grown rapidly - especially in foreign countries, where there are now 927 stores. With 11 Yogen Fruz stores in the US and more than 300 in Canada there is plenty of room for growth of this popular desert. The company is owned by three brothers, and has also bought I Can't Believe It's Yogurt, Swensen's Ice Cream, Bresler's Ice Cream and Yogurt, and the Java Roast Fine Coffees. The owners want to open 30 new stores in the US this year. There is a $25,000 franchise fee and it will cost between $133,100 and $470,000 to open a new store. Franchisees must have a personal net worth of more than $150,000 and more than one store can be owned. Owners must also be store operators.

The Haagen-Dazs Franchises

The premium ice cream was already being sold as a delicious product in various ice cream stores throughout the US. The first Haagen-Dazs ice cream store was opened in 1976, and then the rights were sold to the Pillsbury Company in 1983. Since that time, their ice cream stores have sprouted up all over Europe and the US. There are 260 franchises in the US, and many others in 50 other countries. The franchise fee is normally $30,000, but Haagen-Dazs will lower it by $10,000 for those who have had two years of previous restaurant or franchise experience. The franchisee will need a net worth of at least $200,000, and it will cost between $143,900 and $428,100. Owners may own more than one store and they do not have to be physically present.

Marble Slab Creamery

The Marble Slab Creamery started offering franchises in 1984 - just one year after it was started. Its specialty is its home-made premium ice cream prepared on a marble slab and served in a freshly baked waffle cone. Many flavors of ice cream are served, along with shakes, sundaes, banana-splits and brownies and pies. There are 292 franchises in the US, and 68 in Canada and other countries. The franchise fee is $25,000 and it will cost between $220,500 and $381,000 to open a new store. Franchisees will need a net worth of $250,000 and they may own more than one store. Owners do not need to be present to own the store.

Bruster's Real Ice Cream

Bruster's ice cream stores feature over 40 flavors of real ice cream, and it is sometimes co-branded with Nathan's hot dogs. Since 1993, there are now about 240 franchises in 20 eastern states. Bruster's is looking to expand. The franchise fee is set at $35,000, and it will cost about $179,000 and $1,200,000 to open a store. Multiple stores may be owned by a franchisee, and a net worth of $100,000 will be needed. Owner participation is not necessary.