Rita and Mark McCabe were watching Shark Tank one evening when they found themselves awestruck by a segment on a company that flash-freezes customized ice cream using liquid nitrogen. Not only is the science fascinating, but the method also allows for complete customization. Determined to bring nitrogen ice cream to New England, the two opened a franchise in Nashua, New Hampshire.
They offer eight base creams, including premium, low-fat, custard, lactose-free and even vegan options. Once they’ve selected their base, customers have 50 different flavors to choose from (or combine), topped off by 35 different mix-ins. They can then watch as the Sub Zero staff flash-freezes the selections into smooth, ultra-creamy homemade ice cream in seconds
“Being new to business, we had questions regarding financials and marketing, and were seeking guidance from people who had been successful,” says Rita. They worked with SCORE mentor Ed Izzo, who helped them understand financials and introduced them to another SCORE mentor who had experience with franchises and marketing.
Rita says the mentoring they received at SCORE helped them better evaluate their cost of goods, enabling them to decrease expenses and increase revenues. Their mentor also gave them guidance on taxes and referred them to an excellent bookkeeper.
Rita suggests that other potential small business owners seek out SCORE from the start. She says, “Tell them you are interested in starting a small business and they will help you understand the feasibility, help you down the right path, introduce you to the right people and overall be there as you go through the challenges of getting started and trying to grow.”