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Cold Stone Creamery, chocolatier to co-brand stores

SCOTTSDALE Ariz. Cold Stone Creamery said it has signed a deal with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Inc. to test co-branded stores.

The agreement calls for seven franchised co-branded stores. Cold Stone will select four locations, and Rocky Mountain will select three. The deal also allows for more extensive co-branding in the future.

Dan Beem, president of Cold Stone Creamery, said in a statement: “It's no secret that retail demand for ice cream peaks in the summer, while the demand for gourmet chocolates peaks during the winter holiday season. By co-branding these concepts, we hope to give people more reasons to patronize our stores year-round.”

Bryan Merryman, chief operating officer of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, said: “A number of our franchisees in different markets have been successful in offering ice cream products on their store menus. We believe Cold Stone Creamery has developed a brand awareness and reputation for product quality that complements Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's gourmet chocolate and confectionery product line and meets our customer expectations.”

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, based in Durango, Colo., owns or franchises 331 gourmet chocolate stores in 36 states, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Cold Stone, owned by Kahala Corp. of Scottsdale, has nearly 1,400 locations in the United States and abroad.

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