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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. Evidence of the recent transition can be seen on the exterior, with the former Baskin Robbins signage seen freshly peeled off, without being painted over yet.
Sompura said he had 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 more than he could afford in the current economic climate.
“It’s tough times,” Sompura said. “We have to make money.”
The new menu includes standard parlor fare like ice cream 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 was able to rebrand and keep his doors open, the Baskin Robbins inside Sunrise Mall has closed down. Sompura said he has kept all his employees working through the transition.
Baskin Robbins is part of Dunkin’ Brands which was acquired on Dec. 15 by Inspire Brands, according to a news release from the company. It was unclear if 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 also means 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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