Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SunO Knockoff Sno*Flake Drifts Into Inman Park

Sno*Flake Ice House will soon open its first location in Inman Park. Located at 240 Highland Avenue, the eatery will join Zaya Mediterranean, Parish Foods & Goods, Inman Perk Coffee and a host of other eateries and retailers in the Perennial Properties "The Shops at N. Highland Steel." I find it ironic this place would surface now, as just days ago, SunO Dessert, based in Duluth, opened their 4th location in a former Jake's Ice Cream at North Decatur and Clairmont Roads. Similar to popular Fro-Yo joints like Yogli-Mogli and Yogurberry, of Asian origin, this shaved frozen milk with assorted toppings concept has its origins in Asia as well. According to Bobby Cheng, who I believe is one of the owners, they are awaiting the city's approval to start construction but currently hope to be open late July or early August.

While I've been to SunO myself and know it's quite popular and they have now begun franchising, I am concerned that Sno*Flake, without even one location open, is already offering franchises. The saying goes that one is far more likely to succeed with a franchise than with an independent, but that is said as franchises are thought to possess brand equity and a proven product. In the case of Sno*Flake, offering to sell franchises seems to be a case of "counting ones chickens before they have hatched." As readers will recall, even local eateries such as Mama Fu's and Artuzzi's that each had a couple of corporate stores open and plenty of hype, prematurely sold franchises for concepts that failed to meet expectations. In the case of Mama Fu's, shortly after opening in 2002, they claimed that they had over 100 franchisees signed up: less than 20 locations ever opened and only a handful remain open today.
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1 comment:

Emma said...

I have GOT to try SunO. That new location is just two minutes from my house. I looked it up and those menu pictures are like porn. I've seen that place be so many different things over the years that I've lost count, but the Emory community (and the Georgia State Decatur diaspora, represent woot woot) could really help this place stick and become a hoppin' place. (After all, look at how Saigon Cafe down the other end is doing!)