Local company Island Creamery Inc., operator of the Baskin-Robbins franchise in Puerto Rico, continues to bet on the local market with a $1.1 million investment to remodel its San Patricio Village store in Guaynabo.
The renovation features the “new and innovative design” the company will use to open new stores and remodel existing ones for the chain, officials said.
The San Patricio store, which opened its doors in 1977 and quickly became the highest selling store worldwide, will reopen to the public on Nov. 22. The new store will employ 22 people who will join the current team, for a total of 250 employees in 23 stores.
In the past year, the company has invested more than $3 million in the construction and remodeling of its stores. In the Dorado store — the first one that ICI opened after acquiring the exclusive franchise of the largest ice cream chain in the world — the company invested $1 million that resulted in the creation of 26 new jobs.
The company invested another $1 million in the Plaza del Mar store in Hatillo, creating some 24 additional direct jobs.
ICI also confirmed that, in early 2020, it will break ground on the construction of two new stores for the chain at The Marketplace at Montehiedra in San Juan and on F.D. Roosevelt avenue in Hato Rey, both slated to open to the public next year. The chain’s remaining stores will be remodeled progressively to incorporate the new design standard in the coming years, executives said.
“Puerto Ricans have a special connection with the Baskin-Robbins brand that transcends generations. Since we acquired the operation in 2016, its growth has been sustained and solid, which is why we have the expectation that the new San Patricio store will become the highest selling store worldwide,” said Juan Antonio (Tony) Larrea, president of ICI.
“From having been days away from disappearing from the island, thanks to the support of our local consumers, Baskin-Robbins has been able to maintain more than 200 people employed and has enjoyed a historic comeback,” said Larrea.
The renovated Baskin-Robbins store in San Patricio boasts exterior and interior architecture new to the Puerto Rico market that incorporates such modern elements as exposed cement and fascia in contemporary materials, among others.
Following the acquisition in 2016 of the Baskin-Robbins franchise by ICI — a member of Grupo Larrea, a local company with more than 40 years of experience in the restaurant industry in Puerto Rico — a new era of possibilities began for the iconic brand of ice cream that has been operating locally since 1976.