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Cold Comfort

Selling ice cream to Alaskans isn't as hard as you might think.

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This story appears in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

An ice cream shop in Alaska? Kind of tough to picture, but Brenda Bigalke had no trouble imagining a Cold Stone Creamery opening its doors in her native Anchorage when she and her husband, Larry, stepped inside a Phoenix location of the premium ice-cream and yogurt company about five years ago. "I was born and raised in Alaska, so I know what people like. We just knew it would be a hit," Brenda says.

Brenda, 38, and her father, Dan, approached Cold Stone Creamery about franchising. When the company was a little apprehensive, Brenda pointed out an interesting fact: Alaskans are the largest per capita consumers of ice cream in the United States. "I don't think they really believed it," Brenda says. "They looked it up on the Internet and found out that, sure enough, it was true."

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