Double Rainbow Heads for L.A.

Yet another of those "super-premium" ice creams--the kind with little air and lots of butterfat--is positioning itself to scoop up a share of the competitive Southern California ice cream market.

Double Rainbow Gourmet Ice Creams Inc., a $3.5-million company based in San Francisco, plans to open up to 10 franchise ice cream parlors in the Los Angeles area in 1985, said Steve Garfink, vice president of corporate planning. Double Rainbow also is on the verge of closing several transactions that would put some of the firm's 26 flavors in grocery store freezer cases by April.

Los Angeles "is such a tough market," director of marketing George Wooding said, "but we're definitely going to be in it."

Double Rainbow already has two franchise operations in Southern California--one in Long Beach on Second Street and one in Hollywood on Melrose Avenue, whose interior design recently received an award from the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Double Rainbow plans to sell about 20 franchises in California during 1985, with roughly equal numbers opening in Southern California and in Northern California, Garfink said. Double Rainbow has seven company-owned stores and three franchises in Northern California, he said.

Double Rainbow is negotiating with several unnamed Southern California grocers and hopes to be in 20% to 25% of the area's stores by the end of the summer, Wooding said. Double Rainbow is widely sold in grocery stores in Northern California, Hawaii, Oregon and Nevada, he said.

The company was founded in 1976 when New Yorkers Michael Sachar and Steve Fink moved to San Francisco and opened a yogurt and ice cream parlor called Double Rainbow.

At first, Double Rainbow sold Haagen-Dazs ice cream. But after about two years, Haagen-Dazs and Double Rainbow parted company and the firm's co-owners began making their own ice cream.

Tiny Double Rainbow began growing quickly in 1982, after Philadelphia magazine declared Double Rainbow the best ice cream in the nation.

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