Ice-cream parlours saved

Baskin-Robbins in Byron Bay.
Baskin-Robbins in Byron Bay.

LOVERS of ice-cream have good reason to rejoice – and it has nothing to do with a new flavour.

After news broke that Baskin-Robbins’ Australian franchise holder Allied Brands has gone into voluntary administration, many feared its 92 ice-cream parlours operated by franchisees around the country may also go under.

However, franchisees from Northern NSW and Queensland called to a hastily-convened meeting on Monday were told that US-based Baskin-Robbins International was taking over the Australian operation.

It would be business as usual, they were told, after the US parent air-freighted in two shipping containers of essential stock that Allied Brands had failed to supply to its franchisees.

“It’s definitely good news,” said a relieved Michelle Eggins, owner of the Ballina franchise. “They told us they would fully support the Australian market and its franchisees.

“It was very reassuring that I wasn’t going to lose my business after six years.”

There are three Baskin-Robbins franchises on the Northern Rivers at Ballina, Byron Bay and Billinudgel.

“It has been fairly uncertain for a little while, but the meeting was very positive,” Ms Eggins said.

“It’s been tough over the last 12 months. We have experienced a lot of shortages of flavours and other essential ingredients. I’m not sure of the reason for that, but it has made it hard.”

Allied Brands, which also holds the franchise for Kenny’s Cardiology, homewares stores Villa and Hut and Awesome, went into voluntary administration on Tuesday.

“Over the last year the businesses have struggled in an uncertain economic environment which, combined with continued expansion of the group, led to cash-flow constraints,” the company said in a statement.

The announcement came the day after the Australian arm of Krispy Kreme doughnuts said it was going into voluntary administration.

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