Bruster’s Real Ice Cream has opened a third location in California as it embarks on an ambitious development campaign to add locations in the West and Southwest.

The chain has just launched a multi-month campaign in Texas, Arizona and California using digital and social media marketing, including Facebook and LinkedIn, to attract potential franchisees. The initiative comes as Bruster’s franchisees reported a 7.2 percent increase in 2016 same-store sales, with 92 achieving all time sales highs. The brand has recorded 15 quarters of continuous sales growth. It opened 12 new shops in 2016.

“The markets we are targeting are growing and have high population densities, as well as high household incomes, making them perfect for our concept,” says CEO Jim Sahene. “Unlike in the North and Midwest, people in the West and Southwest go out for ice cream all year long.”

The new Huntington Beach, California location is operated by current franchisee Larry Johnson. He also owns Bruster’s shops in Cypress and Cerritos. “We are thrilled with how well our shops are performing,” says Johnson. “A lot of our guests are familiar with Bruster’s since it is so popular in the eastern U.S., while others are tasting our ice cream for the first time and they absolutely love it. We are finding that the brand is extremely well suited to California.”

As part of its Southern California expansion, Bruster’s recently signed development deals with franchisees to open shops in Redondo Beach, Garden Grove and two more Los Angeles-area locations to be determined, with work underway on the Garden Grove unit. It also signed an agreement for a store in Stockton, California.

In Arizona, a unit in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler is scheduled to open this month, with site selection underway for a second Phoenix shop. A Houston, Texas franchisee also is developing another Bruster’s there.

Outside of the West and Southwest, Bruster’s has signed deals to open four units in Tennessee, two in Mississippi, two in the Pittsburgh area, one in Columbia, Maryland, and one in Massachusetts, location to be determined. A new unit recently opened in Duluth, Georgia, and another is set to be built in Atlanta. Bruster’s also will be scooping at the new Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta.

Bruster’s ice cream is made the old-fashioned way from ingredients that are slow kettle processed and designed specifically to create the Bruster’s flavor. Its proprietary home-style mix is delivered fresh from its dairy to each store, where small artisan batches are made daily by Certified Ice Cream Makers.

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