Sloan’s Ice Cream will soon make sweet treats available to customers along Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue downtown.
The company’s first franchise store is expected to open Nov. 14, according to franchisee David Olmo.
The store is located at 111 East Atlantic Ave. and the deal was brokered by Jeff Sussman of Sussman Realty in Boca Raton.
Olmo is starting off with Delray Beach but he’s not finishing there. He and his wife, Debra, have committed to opening another 13 locations throughout the state, said owner Sloan Kamenstein.
For those who have never tried Sloan’s, the experience is like stepping into a pink explosion of candy, toys and homemade ice cream. Each store has a signature see-through bathroom door that, once the handle is turned, fogs up and provides privacy. Visually catchy finishes include moving model trains, bulk candy, multicolored chandeliers and toys.
Olmo said he was entranced by the store when he visited a company location at Mizner Park in Boca Raton. Olmo, a native of New Jersey who now lives in Boca Raton, said he fell in love with the store as soon as he saw it, years ago.
“I said, ‘If they ever franchise, I’ll be the first one on board,’ “Olmo recalled.
And he was. Earlier this year, Sloan’s revealed it was starting a franchising program.
Olmo, scouting a website for franchise purchases, saw the Sloan’s offer and pounced. On a weekend.
By the next week, he had a meeting set up and was off and running.
Buying a Sloan’s franchise requires two key qualities: Business smarts and plenty of money.
Each franchise location costs $40,000, with a 20 percent discount on mulitiple units, Kamenstein said.
Olmo estimates each unit will cost about $850,000 to build out. And then there are the leases that have to be paid.
Olmo is scouting for sites in Naples, Key West, Orlando, Broward County and Miami-Dade County, where he’s considering Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive.
Sloan’s owns four company stores in Palm Beach County: A flagship store on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, which opened in 1999; a store at CityPlace, also in West Palm Beach; a store at Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens; and the Mizner Park store.
Olmo, whose background is in construction, figures his investment in Sloan’s will wind up being nearly $10 million. But he said he has strong family support for his venture. “And I like ice cream,” he said. “I felt in my heart this was a good choice.”
Kamenstein said five franchise stores have been sold for California, so the company’s expansion is starting to go nationwide.
He’s sweet on the company’s future locally, too.
At Sloan’s four Palm Beach County stores, he’s not sure whether to blame it on the hot weather or a strong hankering for creamy treats, “but this has been our best summer yet,” Kamenstein said.
Alexandra Clough writes about the economy, real estate and the law.