Community and Cream

5596 Cold Stone Hero Image small


Justin Jung

Justin Jung


Rutgers Business School

Rutgers Business School


Joe Markert

Joe Markert

Global Goals

2. Zero Hunger 3. Good Health and Well-Being 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Keep this story going! Share below!


Cold Stone Creamery proudly supports "Best Buddies" and their mission to end the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Donated Creations will be distributed to local heroes throughout the country. They also partnered with "bstrong" support people and communities in need. Funds collected for "bstrong" will go directly to COVID-19 response initiatives centered around the shortage of medical and sanitization products.


Founded by an ice cream fanatics married couple, who traveled all over the world to find the perfect ice cream, Donald and Susan Sutherland opened their first ice cream shop in 1988 in a college town of Tempe, Arizona. Unsatisfied with the ice cream they discovered, the couple started Cold Stone Creamery with the principle of providing the best experience to customers and making a simple activity of ice cream consumption into a joyous ride. With this principle in mind, Cold Stone quickly became an iconic brand because of their innovative approach and early mover advantages.

Amongst the 17 UN SDGs, Cold Stone’s innovations are contributing to multiple goals. Their innovative business model had two main contributors. First and most importantly, providing responsible consumption and the best customer experience by serving quality, fresh and varied products daily. This has a positive impact on their consumers' physical and mental health. Secondly, considering their business model, Cold Stone is designed to be easy to run and easy to scale. There’s still nothing like Cold Stone Creamery on the market, and not only does this make for a profitable business model, but it also has given me the chance to really give back to my community. Because Cold Stone Creamery doesn’t require any previous experience in the restaurant or service industry, they provide everything an entrepreneur needs to grow their ice cream franchise on an ongoing basis, and their executive team is always accessible to answer any questions, provide insight or offer encouragement. Hence this promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.


Our interviewee Raj Patel quoted, "During my recent work experience with Coldstone, Going above and beyond in my position is something I enjoy. It makes the clients feel special, and it helps our business. I regularly call clients to check in with them and see how they are doing, even if there are no issues with the service they received. This is not required by my company or supervisor, but I think going above and beyond our customer's expectations by keeping in touch with them helps to build lasting relationships that keep the clients loyal to our business" And shared with us how much he likes his job and all the good deeds Coldstone does for the world.

Overall impact

Cold stone proudly supports an innovation called “Best Buddies”. This innovation wants to end the social and physical isolations of people with disabilities. Since Coldstone has supported IDD (intellectual and developmental disability), they currently have a positive impact on 690,000 people in this world. Through this organization, many people with IDD have a positive reward in their life. A common benefit many were rewarded with was a life-long friendship. Best buddies also support the idea of volunteers and reach out to many high schooler and college students who are willing to help out and take care of people with IDD. This way, the two grow a healthy relationship with one another and eventually become a friend as close as family. Through Best Buddies, not only were the people with IDD make lifelong friends, but they also were taught to live by themselves. This is a huge deal that is very important specifically towards people with IDD. Growing up people with IDD were always nurtured more and taken care of more than others. However, through this innovation, they were able to learn how to live by themselves. They learned to take care of themselves without the help of others, so this is a big step in life for them. They were also able to secure rewarding jobs so that they can make money by themselves.

Business benefit

The innovation of butterfat in ice cream and making ice cream on site definitely helps with sales considerably. “For a Coldstone location to make 25 grand a month, they need to make 166 creations per day, or 15 creations per hour, and even then they break even. Our Hoboken location makes around 450 grand a year.” This means that this location is taking $150,000 home in profit which is quite considerable. This goes to show what people will go for when quality products are being offered. On the other hand, Baskin Robins’ mean gross sales range around $290,000 with slimmer margins.

Employees are also much more likely to stay with Coldstone as well given the fact cold stone provides health insurance, retirement plans, and much more. This leads to the statistic that employees at coldstone are 20% more likely to continue with their company than employees at Baskin Robbins, a similar dessert company.

Social and environmental benefit

An example of how Cold Stone innovation benefits society, this is Cold Stone's fro-yo, offering a healthy alternative to ice cream with probiotics and an approval from the one and only – National Yogurt Association's Live & Active Cultures. At only 34 calories an ounce, to care for the needs of people who may have ice cream restrictions. This is helpful for those who have issues losing weight but want to eat an ice cream at the same time.

Best Buddies also help people with IDD become inspirational leaders. People with IDD have a disability in life and have been through a lot of tough times in life. By becoming Inspirational leaders, they are able to share empathy and tend to be sincere leaders. This is both beneficial to people who want to become an inspirational leader and follow in their footsteps.


Raj Patel, Director


Westfield, FL, Worldwide
Year Founded: 1988
Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Cold Stone's goal is to make fresh in house ice cream special for the store's customers to meet the tastes and needs of all customers who enter the store. They have over 12 different ice cream flavors and over 10 different toppings, as well as smoothies, shakes, and cakes. It aims to meet the needs of many people and assist in any way they can to be the reason a customer visits and leaves cold stone happy.