New owners of a well-known ice cream franchise – famous for being mobile – are opening a flagship store in Queenstown.
Mr Whippy’s new New Zealand owners plan to unveil its downtown locale on Shotover Street to the public this Saturday – and give away 1000 free ice creams (to each person with the Mr Whippy advertisement in this week’s Mountain Scene). As well as the free ice creams, any purchase on the official opening day gains entry into a draw for a trip for two to Fiji.
The Mr Whippy venue is taking over the spot formerly occupied by cafe Motogrill and it won’t just be offering the traditional ice cream menu.
It is branching out into frozen yoghurt, fruit smoothies, cupcakes, coffees and hot chocolate.
It’ll employ approximately eight staff and have a capacity for about 25 people.
The Auckland-based Mr Whippy NZ co-owner and general manager Chris Dorn will not say how much has been spent fitting out the Shotover St premises other than “it’s quite a bit of money”.
“It’s our flagship store,” he adds.
Dorn, who late last year took over the Kiwi arm of Mr Whippy, says operating from a bigger site than just the traditional mobile vans is enabling him to expand what’s offered.
“When you buy a company you want to find ways to grow it. It gives us an amazing ability to introduce more products into the range,” Dorn says, adding a van operation powered by generator is limiting.
The Queenstown venue will be the only South Island site for Mr Whippy, which started in the United Kingdom in 1962 before its arrival in NZ two years later.
The other fixed Mr Whippy venue is in Auckland.
Its arrival in the Wakatipu follows that of Cookie Time’s flagship store on Camp St, which Dorn says is a set-up he admires.
“The great thing about Queenstown is when the rest of the country is really miserable in the middle of winter, Queenstown is the one place that’s going off.
“Over winter there are as many people around as there are over summer.”
Dorn has three other partners in the national franchise from Bay of Plenty, Northland and Otago.
And Dorn says the frozen yoghurt is sourced from Southland.