The Blog

Best Ice Cream Franchise

Nearly three-quarters of a century ago, two brothers-in-law shared a dream to create an innovative ice cream store that would be a neighborhood gathering place for families. Burton “Burt” Baskin and Irvine “Irv” Robbins had a mutual love of old-fashioned ice cream and the desire to provide customers a variety of flavors made with ingredients of the highest quality in a fun, inviting atmosphere.

As a teen, Irv worked in his father’s ice cream store. During World War II, Burt was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and produced ice cream for his fellow troops. When the war was over, the two entrepreneurs were eager to capitalize on America’s love of ice cream.

They started out in separate ventures at the advice of Irv’s father. In 1945, Irv opened Snowbird Ice Cream in Glendale, California. His store featured 21 flavors and emphasized high-quality ice cream sold in a fun, personalized atmosphere. A year later, Burt opened Burton’s Ice Cream Shop in Pasadena, CA. By 1948, they had six stores between them. This concept eventually grew into Baskin-Robbins.

As the number of stores grew, Burt and Irv recognized that to maintain the high standards they set in the beginning, each store would require a manager who had an ownership interest in its overall operation. Even though they didn’t realize it at the time, the two founders had pioneered the concept of franchising in the ice cream industry.

In 1949, there were more than 40 stores in Southern California when Burt and Irv purchased their first dairy in Burbank. This business decision allowed them to have complete control over the production of their ice cream, and the development of new ingredients and flavors.

The franchise model created by Burt and Irv decades ago is still used by Baskin-Robbins today. We are 100% franchised, with each owner holding a stake in the business’ success, while product development and merchandising are handled at Baskin-Robbins headquarters. This hands-on, small business approach allows franchisees the ability to create a strong presence in local communities all over the world. Through this franchise business model, we continue to provide innovative, high-quality ice cream treats to more than 150 million customers worldwide. And as a result, Baskin-Robbins has grown to become the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty stores, with more than 2,800 locations throughout the United States and 5,800 around the globe.

The company is known for its “31 flavors” slogan, with the idea that a customer could have a different flavor every day of any month.