Industry News | October 24, 2013

Camille's Dips Into Nat'l, Int'l Franchise Agreements

Camille’s Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bars, the frozen treats franchise, announced an aggressive global growth strategy.

“If you look at the quality of investors we’re attracting around the world, it is easy to see why I feel so good about the momentum behind our brand,” says Rome Gregorio, chairman and founder of Camille’s Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bars. “Seasoned entrepreneurs and food service operators who want to add a high-performing, extremely adaptable concept to their portfolio will see our brand as a great fit for their investment strategies and the guests they cater to in highly trafficked venues.”

Despite being in the first stages of its licensing and franchising, Camille’s has signed a master licensing agreement that will result in new units across the U.S. in non-traditional venues such as airports, cruise ships, and other transportation hubs. The deal has been completed with an experienced food service operator with 30 years in developing frozen yogurt concepts in non-traditional venues. The success of the brand’s initial Austin, Texas, storefront has allowed the company to expand its vision for the future of Camille’s.

Additionally, international expansion through master franchising agreements in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East are top expansion priorities for Camille’s. Interest around the globe has been consistent, and the Camille’s leadership team is visiting with prospective investors at upcoming franchise conventions in India and the United Arab Emirates. Camille’s is also expanding through a U.S. area developer initiative, awarding opportunities to seasoned entrepreneurs who have the skills to grow through multiple units in a given trade area.

“Camille’s brings a smile to your face,” Gregorio says. “Investors and consumers alike fall in love with the concept… It’s a feel good brand with a great business model, fantastic support and ongoing product development.”

Gregorio and his wife, Melyn, started development of Camille’s Hand-Dipped Ice Cream in 2010. A former independent health club owner, Gregorio came up with the Camille’s concept when Melyn was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for breast cancer. Ice cream was the only thing that soothed her after treatments, so Gregorio went into business with the idea. The name Camille’s comes from the couple’s only daughter, Camille, one of their three children. After traveling to Brazil and Italy to import flash-freezing technology with a team of food scientists, Gregorio developed an adaptable model that operates seamlessly in kiosks at malls, airports, entertainment/lifestyle centers, and transportation venues.

“We want to recreate the nostalgia and authenticity of a hand-held treat,” Gregorio says. “Camille’s ice cream bars are portable, affordable, fun and easy to eat.”

At Camille’s, guests choose an ice cream, yogurt, or blended fruit, which is frozen on a stick. Then, the frozen treat is dipped in either milk or dark chocolate. Finally, the bar is rolled in the toppings of the guest’s choice. Samplings of popular flavors include cappuccino ice cream dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in almonds, and pumpkin ice cream covered in milk chocolate and rolled in pistachios.

The flash-freeze technology used by Gregorio and his team makes Camille’s the first franchise of its kind. The ability to freeze 500 sticks in an hour, combined with the quality ingredients and a space-conscious variety of flavors and toppings, makes Camille’s a low-cost franchise to operate in a kiosk.