JOPLIN, Mo. —
For more than 25 years, Baskin-Robbins was a popular vendor of ice cream at Northpark Mall. The shop is coming back to Joplin, although not to the mall.
The new storefront will open in a shopping center that is under construction at 30th and Main streets where the old Pizza Inn once stood. A sign that advertises that a Baskin-Robbins is coming has been posted at the construction site.
I’m not sure whether this has anything to do with its return to Joplin, but the company in June announced new development incentives for new franchisees and military veterans.
One of the incentives will permit a new franchisee to amortize the initial franchise fee payment of $25,000 over 10 years.
Also, the standard royalty rate of 5.9 percent has been lowered to between 0.9 percent and 2.9 percent over the first five years.
For military veterans who sign an agreement in 2013, Baskin-Robbins is waiving its 20-year initial franchisee fee and offering a zero percent royalty rate for the first two years and reduced royalty rates for years three through five.
The incentives, some of the steepest the brand has ever offered, are part of Baskin-Robbins’ growth plans to attract new franchisees. The incentives are being coupled with an updated shop design.
To show how serious Baskin-Robbins is about ice cream, the company recently partnered with the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation to identify what some of the most popular ice cream flavors suggest about someone’s personality. Here’s what they learned:
• If your favorite flavor is vanilla, you’re more likely to be impulsive, easily suggestible and an idealist.
• If your favorite flavor is chocolate, you’re more likely to be dramatic, lively, charming, flirtatious, seductive and gullible.
• If your favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip, you’re more likely to be argumentative, frugal and cautious.
• If your favorite flavor is chocolate chip, you’re more likely to be generous, competent and a go-getter.
• If your favorite flavor is rocky road, you’re more likely to be aggressive, engaging and a good listener.
Baskin-Robbins, founded in 1945, is now the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops with more than 7,100 retail shops in nearly 50 countries.
The House of Bounce, 3684 N. Main Street Road, is bouncing back from a fire in June that destroyed a building but not the business.
Initially, an investigating firefighter said the fire was caused by a faulty extension cord. A few weeks later, two individuals confessed to setting the building on fire by throwing a Molotov cocktail through a window.
The metal structure is being torn down for salvage. The new building, constructed by Farrell Construction of Neosho, will be about 1,000 square feet larger. Instead of having four or five inflatables in the building, it will now be able to house five or six. Most of the inflatables will be new.
House of Bounce, owned by Shayla and Jeffrey Moore, was at its busiest at this time of year with birthday parties for children. The new building should be ready in early February. If you want to book it for a party, you need to do so three to four weeks out.
When the new diverging-diamond interchange at Interstate 44 and Range Line Road was unveiled a few weeks ago, I jokingly suggested that progress was not always what it was cracked up to be. You might recall that a little old lady put me in my place by saying that I was not old enough yet to complain about progress.
Well, I’m rethinking that now after a couple of incidents last week.
At 8:45 a.m. last Sunday, I used the interchange to get to the Waffle House on South Range Line Road. I went there to get hash browns and gravy for my 92-year-old mother. It’s one of her favorites. I exited the interstate and pulled up to the stoplight for the northbound lanes. When the light changed, I moved forward and looked over into the southbound lanes and saw a sport-utility vehicle going north. The driver recognized that he had made a mistake and did a U-turn in the road.
At 11:15 a.m. last Tuesday, I used the interchange again. This time I had been to ABC Supply to buy some TAMKO shingles — doing my part to help the local economy. As I turned to go west on the interstate, I noticed that two cars had stopped in the northbound lanes of the interchange. That was because a maroon-colored Oldsmobile was going south in the northbound lanes.
This is a heads-up, folks: You need to be on your guard when you use that interchange.
IF YOU HAVE NEWS about something happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, dial 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.