By Mike Hazlip-
In an overnight change last week, the former Baskin Robbins at 8125 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights became an independent ice cream parlor, branded as “Sweet Treats Creamery.”
Owner Rashmin Sompura said his last day as Baskin Robbins was Dec. 25, and he opened as Sweet Treats Creamery December 26. Proof of the recent transition can be seen on the exterior, with the former Baskin Robbins signage seen freshly taken off, without being painted over yet.
Sompura said he'd invested a significant amount into the business since it first opened, but corporate pressure to remodel and improve the under-performing location, along with royalty payments, was a lot more than he could afford in the current economic system.
\”It's tough times,\” Sompura said. \”We need to make money.\”
The new menu includes standard parlor fare like frozen treats cups and cones, sundaes, and beverages. Hours posted on the door show the creamery is open Monday-Thursday, from noon to 9:45 p.m, and Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
While Sompura could rebrand and keep his doors open, the Baskin Robbins inside Sunrise Mall has closed down. Sompura said he has kept all his employees dealing with the transition.
Baskin Robbins is part of Dunkin' Brands which was acquired on Dec. 15 by Inspire Brands, based on a news release in the company. It was unclear when the acquisition prompted the transition for Sompura's location and the closure of the Sunrise Mall location.
Sompura says he has more flexibility operating as an independent business, but that same lack of corporate control does mean he won't have an established brand and supply chain in the market. \”It's a plus and a minus,\” he said.
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