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Unsurprisingly, this ice cream franchise got its start in a city with a scorching climate: Tempe, Arizona, circa 1988. Since then, the red-walled parlors have popped up in over 1,350 locations—retail centers, airports, sports arenas, and street corners—nationwide as well as in Guam and the Caribbean. The company takes its name from the cool granite stone (kept at a constant five degrees Fahrenheit) where the fresh ice cream is mixed with sundry toppings; bits of Snickers, bananas, and almonds can be kneaded into one of a dozen basic flavors, like chocolate, coffee and sweet cream. (For the more adventurous, flavors like wasabi ginger and carrot cake batter are introduced monthly.) Appreciative customers are encouraged to tip. In thanks, the staff—clad in black polo shirts—will belt out lighthearted ditties like A Scoopin' We Will Go. (Notably, a job interview at Cold Stone includes an audition as well as an interview.)Extra
Thick, multi-layered ice cream cakes covered in white frosting or chocolate ganache are also available.