Friday, September 30, 2011

Friendly's might file Chapter 11 as early as next week

The big news on the radio this morning was all about the Wall Street Journal article saying that Friendly's could file for Chapter 11 as early as last week. I know the economy is slow, but I didn't realize they were a whopping $250 million in debt.

Friendly's is a New England tradition with roughly 10,000 employees and 500 restaurants along the East coast. For the tons of us that didn't have local scoop shops, there was usually a Friendly's near by. Now they say their problems are based on the fact that people aren't dining out as much, but I say it's because their food is horrifically terrible. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a meal there. I only ate a meal there as a last resort, and the last few times it was just so awful (and I'm talking different Friendly's, not the same one every time).

Don't get me wrong, their ice cream is excellent and their sundaes are worth the money, but the food is just so terrible. I think their business must rely on people who have spent their lives going to Friendly's and don't realize there are a million other options out there. I hope they come out of this with new leadership that has actually tried to eat at a Friendly's....   actually, that's a funny thought. I can picture their current board of directors not going anyway near an actual Friendly's restaurant.

Good luck my friends, may we see you on the other side! Let me know if you need anything.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Broadway Video Enterprises and Ben & Jerry's unviel new "Saturday Night Live" inspired ice cream

Legendary Schweddy Balls Sketch Inspires Limited Batch Flavor 
as Thank You to SNL for 37 Years of Laughter in Advance of Season Premiere

Burlington, Vt.– September 7, 2011 – To celebrate the talented writers, crew and actors behind arguably television’s funniest television program, today, Ben & Jerry’s launched its newest limited-batch flavor, Schweddy Balls. The flavor is an ode to the classic “Saturday Night Live” sketch [viewable at http://www.benjerry.com/] starring Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon, as hosts of the “Delicious Dish,” a National Public Radio program parody, along with Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy, the fictional owner of Season’s Eatings Bakery.

The legendary actor, comedian, and perennial favorite SNL host appreciates keeping the laughs going. “For a long time, I thought that ‘Here Lies Pete Schweddy’ would end up on my tombstone,” said Baldwin. “Now, thanks to Ben & Jerry's, the goodness of the Schweddy family recipe won't go with me to the great beyond.”

The flavor, available nationwide, features Fair Trade vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum and is loaded with fudge covered rum balls and milk chocolate malt balls. The combination is a melding whose time has come, deadpanned Baldwin, “It is immortalized here, right now, and it's an ice cream. Ben & Jerry's and Schweddy. Two great names in American dessert, together at last.”

Fan favorite SNL cast member Ana Gasteyer shared a cup of cheer at the announcement of Ben & Jerry’s latest flavor as well: "The Schweddy Balls sketch was a personal favorite from my SNL run, so I am pleased as holiday punch that Ben and Jerry's has taken it upon themselves to share the Schweddy Family recipe with the world. As a person and a performer, I am a sucker for holiday balls. And I have no doubt this ice cream will cause many to scream 'Good Times,'" said Gasteyer.

While the actors poked fun at the joint effort, the ice cream makers spoke openly about their affinity of the show and of how honored they are to work together. “We’re HUGE ‘Saturday Night Live’ fans here at Ben & Jerry’s and admire the writers, the crew and the players for their unparalleled ability to bring levity and laughter to America for decades,” said Jostein Solheim, CEO of Ben & Jerry’s. “No other show has made such an impact on our culture, poking fun at our accomplishments, our failures, and our history: the good, the bad and the ugly. Since 1975, ‘Saturday Night Live’ has allowed us to laugh at ourselves and for that we say thanks.”

The newest Ben & Jerry’s limited-batch flavor not only borrows its name from the SNL sketch but also used the holiday theme as inspiration for the flavor itself. The resulting concoction is currently available at participating Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops across the country and at supermarkets nationwide while supplies last. Schweddy Balls is the perfect “Delicious Dish” to enjoy while tuning in to another year of laughs, surprises and great performances on NBC’s 37th season of “Saturday Night Live” on Saturday evenings at 11:30 pm ET.

For information about “Saturday Night Live” visit www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live and don’t forget to tune in on September 24th at 11:30 pm ET for the 37th season premiere hosted by Alec Baldwin. For more information on Ben & Jerry’s or to find your local Scoop Shop, visit http://www.benjerry.com/.

About Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH* on its labels. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Contributions made via the employee-led Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 2010 totaled over $1.8 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry’s philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit http://www.benjerry.com/.

* The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH treated cows and untreated cows. Not all the suppliers of our other ingredients can promise that the milk they use comes from untreated cows.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Global Franchise Group Announces Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery Will Be Combined into One Concept

Combination of Marble Slab and MaggieMoo's Will Create Country's Second Largest Super-Premium Ice Cream Concept

ATLANTA, Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- GFG Management, LLC, a subsidiary of Global Franchise Group, which manages Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery, has announced the two brands will be united into one concept. Once complete, Marble Slab Creamery will be the second largest super-premium ice cream concept in the country.

The new concept, which will remain under the Marble Slab Creamery name, will include elements of both Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo's including Marble Slab's frozen slab innovations and both brand's most popular flavors and ice cream products like MaggieMoo's MaggieMia's™ Ice Cream Pizza and MaggieMoo's Ice Cream Cupcakes. A new store design will help integrate the different elements from each brand. Also making the transition is MaggieMoo's brand icon, Miss Maggie Moo, an ice cream celubutante, who focuses on giving back to the community by working with celebrities to raise money and awareness for local and national causes.

"Marble Slab Creamery will include the very best of both brands, including Miss Maggie Moo, and will further provide customers with great ice cream products in a fun, entertaining atmosphere," said Chris Dull, president and CEO for GFG Management, LLC. "We are very excited for our customers with this new phase for Marble Slab Creamery."

Marble Slab Creameries will begin remodeling to a new brand design that includes a more playful, contemporary environment. Several MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery locations will also be transitioning to Marble Slab Creamery's new look in the upcoming months. This transition period is expected to last 18 months, with some MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery locations expected to remain with the MaggieMoo's brand.

The first of the newly designed Marble Slab Creameries opened August 1 in St. George, Utah. The St. George location features the new store design that will be replicated throughout the Marble Slab Creamery system.

"It's exciting to be the first Marble Slab Creamery in the country that includes the combined elements from MaggieMoo's and Marble Slab along with the new store design," said Brandon Schank, owner of the Marble Slab Creamery in St. George, Utah. "I was really looking forward to August 1 so we could finally unveil the new Marble Slab concept to our loyal customers and their response has been terrific."

To find out more information about Marble Slab Creamery, customers can visit www.marbleslab.com to join Marble Mail, become a Facebook® fan or follow @MarbleSlab on Twitter®.

About Marble Slab Creamery® (http://www.marbleslab.com/)

Marble Slab Creamery, a leading purveyor of chef created super-premium hand-mixed ice cream and the innovator of the frozen slab technique, was founded in 1983. Every batch of Marble Slab Creamery ice cream is fresh made in small batches in store using dairy from local farms and flavor ingredients from around the world. Today, Marble Slab Creamery is enjoyed by consumers across the globe with locations in Bahrain, Canada, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Oman, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

About MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery® (http://www.maggiemoos.com/)

Inventor of the ice cream cupcake, ice cream pizza and a number of specialty ice cream flavors, MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery is known for ice cream innovation. Opening its first store in 1989, MaggieMoo's has been serving up super premium ice cream and cakes for over 20 years and has consistently been awarded blue ribbons by the National Ice Cream Retailers Association. MaggieMoo's brand icon is Miss Maggie Moo, an ice cream celubutante, who focuses on giving back to the community by working with celebrities to raise money and awareness for local and national causes.

About Global Franchise Group, LLC (http://www.globalfranchise.com/)

Global Franchise Group, LLC is a strategic brand management company with a focus on franchising. The company owns a portfolio of franchise brands that includes five quick service restaurant (QSR) franchise concepts: Great American Cookies®, MaggieMoo's®, Marble Slab Creamery®, Pretzelmaker® and Pretzel Time®, as well as two retail franchise concepts: TAF® and Shoebox New York®. The brands are managed by GFG Management, LLC, a subsidiary of Global Franchise Group, LLC. Global Franchise Group, LLC is an affiliate of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, an independent investment firm, with approximately $5 billion of capital under management and substantial franchise management experience.