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Customers flock to Cold Stone Creamery for opening

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Ice cream fanatics now have a reason to get starry-eyed.

A steady stream of customers waited in line Thursday for the opening of Cold Stone Creamery in Stateway Plaza, 1222 Arsenal St., choosing homemade ice cream from a menu loaded with 30 flavors.

The 1,800-square-foot store was launched by Kirk S. Gilchrist, pastor of New Life Christian Church, and co-owners Christopher Hopper and Randy Lyons. Mr. Gilchrist, who also co-owns CiCi’s Pizza at the same location, said the ice cream shop was launched to offer a place for classy desserts. Cold Stone will host a grand opening next Thursday.

“We came up with the plan for CiCi’s a year ago, and Cold Stone was a part of that,” Mr. Gilchrist said. “We’re going to offer cross-promotions at CiCi’s so that you can buy a pizza, drink and ice cream with one deal.”

Cold Stone, which has 25 employees, is different from other ice cream shops because ice cream and ingredients are mixed on a cold stone slab, which inspired the franchise’s name.

“You can basically make any combination of ice cream you want, and the prices are competitive,” Mr. Gilchrist said. “We strive to offer quality ice cream for a good price.”

Renovated in April, the shop has several tables and a large counter to serve multiple customers at once. The shop also offers homemade ice cream cakes that can be personalized for birthdays and holidays.

Mr. Gilchrist said he hopes Cold Stone will lure CiCi’s customers and those seeking to cap off their evenings with a dessert. He said he thinks the shop, which will be open year-round, fills a niche that will enable it to survive for the long haul. “There’s nothing like it in the area,” he said.

A portion of the Cold Stone and CiCi’s profits are used at New Life Christian Church, also in Stateway Plaza, to fund projects at orphanages in developing countries.

“Part of our goal was to bring jobs to the area and to use the profits to help people,” Mr. Gilchrist said.

Cold Stone will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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