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I'm Melting

Morrone's Italian Ices and Homemade Ice Cream franchise

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This story appears in the August 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

One taste of Morrone's Italian Ices and Homemade Ice Cream, and you'll be on a lip-smacking trip down memory lane. Think we're exaggerating? That was all it took for Doug and Ellen Burnhauser to end their long search for a part-time business that would also serve as an investment. With family recipes that date back to 1910, the Morrone's franchise chain has an Old World charm that's catching on nationwide with walk-up and walk-in stores alike.

The Burnhausers opened their Schuykill Haven, Pennsylvania, franchise in 1998 with an initial investment of about $150,000, culled from personal savings and a bank loan. Fortunately, they weren't met with an icy reception, and sales have doubled for each season they've been in operation. Though Ellen, 36, and Doug, 35, continue to work at their regular jobs, they personally serve that "wonderful product" (as Ellen describes it) at their popular walk-up store during the evenings of their open season (March to October).

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