Local Baskin-Robbins owner named chain's Franchisee of the Year

Varuzh Tirityan began scooping Baskin-Robbins ice cream in high school more than three decades ago, and he hasn’t left the company since.

Shortly after immigrating to Southern California from Armenia, he began working part-time at a Hollywood shop.

He subsequently moved to a corporate position, where he worked in training, product development and cake designing.

Now, he owns four ice cream shops — two in Burbank, one in Toluca Lake and one in Pasadena — and was recently named the 2013 National Baskin-Robbins Franchisee of the Year. With that recognition comes $125,000 to help him open a new location, which he said he hopes to do in the next six months in either Glendale or Burbank.

“It’s a fun business to be in,” he said while sitting in a hot pink sofa chair at his Victory Boulevard shop, which he purchased in 2000. It’s actually the second oldest store in existence, and the fifth store ever opened, he said, because three of the first-ever stores have since closed.

Tirityan said he serves hundreds of scoops a day, but his favorite is the classic Jamoca Almond Fudge.

“Other ones have come and gone,” he said. “That one has stayed with me throughout the years.”

Serving customers half a mile from the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank makes every day unique. On a regular basis, horses trot through his drive-through, with their owners ordering ice cream on horseback.

“They’re regulars,” he said, with a laugh. “It’s kind of fun and crazy.”

The company, which has nearly 2,500 stores nationwide and 7,300 worldwide, has created more than 1,000 flavors.

“Serving ice cream to people, you automatically make them happy, so you can’t really go wrong,” he said.

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