(Thousand Oaks, Ca) Dunkin Brands (NASDAQ: NSDQ) Baskin-Robbins division announced their 8,000th store has been opened in Thousand Oaks. The store, located at Skyline Center, the same strip mall occupied by Tile City, D’Amore’s Pizza, and Crown & Anchor, is the second location for husband and wife team Doug & Susan Morgan.
“The Baskin-Robbins previously located in Westlake Village in the Westlake Commons Shopping Center was not offered a new lease by their landlord and the owner decided not to seek a new location. So we took the opportunity to work with the brand on a new location and found this spot,” stated Mrs. Morgan. “I really like this spot because the floor plan is so open and the windows give you a really nice feel when you are sitting inside the shop. I think it’s a really nice location.”
Susan was not always in the ice cream business but rather was previously a dentist in the Philippines and came to the United States in 2000. She and Doug Morgan met in 2004 when when he was receiving a root canal. Doug was a general contractor working with Baskin-Robbins franchisees to build and remodel stores for the brand. After seeing his line of work, Susan left her career to join and travel with him to the many locations he services.
In 2012, the previous owner of their Moorpark location asked them what it would cost to remove the cooler because he wanted to close the shop. After talking with the owner, Doug came home and discussed buying the location with Susan. Susan admitted that she was nervous at first. The store needed some attention and a change in leadership. They decided to buy the location and, within a year, sales turned around and things were looking good. In 3 years they have raised revenues by 50%. Her key was being very clean in the store, making sure her team was customer friendly, and also remodeling the location. “The store is doing well and growing slowly. In 2017, we won an award from Baskin-Robbins as ‘Operator of the Year for 2016.’ So we were very proud of what we accomplished together.
Today, she continues to assist her husband on constructions projects and even handled the inlaid tile work in the Thousand Oaks store, “This store has been a labor of love. If you look around I can show you all the little details we put in here to create this look.”
The store is themed as a 1950’s diner / ice cream shop, with metal wall panels, an oversized clock, unique lights, and fun chairs and tables. The case of cakes includes those for birthdays and kids of all ages. “We laid every piece of design here.” Between both stores, the Morgans have a cake designer that can also do wedding cakes. “We can do specialized cakes with 24 hours notice or you can buy ones from the case.”
When asked what their favorite flavors are, Susan confided, “I love anything with Oreo. So cookies and creams is my favorite. Doug loves gold medal ribbon (a combination of vanilla, chocolate and caramel).” Susan went on to ask, “Do you know why it is called 31 flavors? It was because you were originally supposed to be able to try a new flavor each day of the month. Today we have 1,000 flavors and cycle most of them in and out based on the season.”
“For example, for Halloween we have ‘Trick Oreo Treat,’ for Thanksgiving we have ‘Pumpkin Pie’, around Christmas we have peppermint, and for Valentine’s Day we have ‘Love Potion Number 31.’ ”
Today Doug still handles construction projects for Baskin-Robbins franchisees around the state. “Having a second store is a lot to manage. We are excited but it is a lot of work,” shared Susan.
There’s still a few finishing touches she has planned. “We are going to do a ceramic tinting on the windows to keep it cooler in here. That is coming next week.”
Would like to share our sincere thanks with Susan Morgan who was kind enough to share some of her delicious ice cream with me and my daughter. On this very hot day, all that was left was this….
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