Forty years after dishing out its first scoop, a West End ice cream shop has a new owner.
Local ad industry veteran AnnaMarie Rossi last month bought the Baskin-Robbins franchise at 5510 W. Broad St. She’s the fourth person to run the store since it opened in 1972. The previous owners, James and Alice Du, took over the location in 1986.
“It’s a strong brand,” Rossi said. “I don’t see this location going anywhere anytime soon.”
Rossi spent two decades in advertising before losing her job about five years ago. She worked at a few other firms before taking the leap into ice cream.
“I was just going over and over in my mind how to get out of this precarious industry,” Rossi said. “I worked at the Baskin-Robbins on Forest Hill when I was 14, and I decided to get back to my roots.”
She declined to disclose the purchase price but said she financed it herself.
Rossi said she wants to incorporate her advertising experience to help market the store. She’s using social media sites and wants to spread the word about coupons and discounts.
“There’s a big marketing push at the [Baskin-Robbins] corporate level,” Rossi said. “I’ve seen more ads for Baskin-Robbins in the past six weeks than I have in the last five years.”
Over the next three years, Rossi plans to renovate the space and bring in more modern equipment. She’ll also add outdoor seating and said she wants to begin a delivery service.
The Broad Street spot is one of three standalone Baskin-Robbins locations in the Richmond area. A Carytown shop that combines Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts is fighting a lawsuit after allegedly falling behind on rent and franchise fees.