Tim Hortons getting out of the ice cream business

Dave Stewart
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Two P.E.I. Cold Stone Creamery locations will close as of March 31

Water Street Tim Hortons employees at the Cold Stone Creamery store in Summerside (TC Media file photo)

P.E.I.'s two Cold Stone Creamery locations will serve their last scoop of ice cream on March 31.

Tim Hortons Inc. announced Thursday it is pulling the ice cream brand from its Canadian restaurants, a move the company says will allow the franchise owners to focus on their core business.

The two Island locations are located on St. Peter's Road in Charlottetown and Water Street in Summerside.

"Both locations on P.E.I. will be transitioning from the Cold Stone brand so we're going to be supporting that until March 31 at which point there will be a renovation and we'll be looking at increased capacity in our restaurants,'' said Olga Petrycki, public affairs officer with Tim Hortons Inc. in Toronto.

The chain's decision to end ice cream sales in Canada cost Tim Hortons about $19 million in the fourth quarter but will help simplify its menu, which has grown far beyond coffee and doughnuts. Its partnership with the American dairy chain Cold Stone Creamery, which began in 2009, will continue in the U.S. Tim Hortons locations.

Petrycki hinted that there are more changes coming for the franchise, although she wouldn't commit to where those changes would take place or whether any of the P.E.I. locations will be part of it.

"Where possible and where the (customer traffic) volume is there we'll be looking at beverage only express lines to improve speed of service and efficiency,'' she said.

There will also be changes to the menu although specific details are being guarded until the company CEO outlines plans for refreshing the company's image and operations, amid increased competition for coffee drinkers, on Tuesday.

"We'll be announcing our strategic plan for the next few years and that's when you'll hear all about it.''

As for the impact on Tim Hortons employees at the Charlottetown and Summerside ice cream locations, Petrycki would only say they will make every effort to ensure it is minimal.

"Unfortunately, we can't discuss specific personnel matters but efforts are always made and will be made to retain team members of this restaurant on the business.''

Tim Hortons also reported Thursday that it had $898.5 million of revenue during the fourth quarter, up 10.7 per cent from a year earlier, but a smaller profit than analysts were expecting.

Tim Hortons had 69 cents per share of net earnings attributable to common shareholders, up from 65 cents a year in the fourth quarter of 2012 but below analyst estimates of 77 cents per share.

(Includes files from The Canadian Press)

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Tim Hortons Inc.

Geographic location: OAKVILLE, Canada, Prince Edward Island Charlottetown Water Street

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Recent comments

  • Den
    February 22, 2014 - 14:02

    Doesn't really shake up my world any. I've been to Cold Stone once and while it was good tasting, felt it was way overpriced. Nice tub of Breyer's Natural Vanilla will fill the void quite nicely and for pretty much the same price as a Dixie cup size of Cold Stone.

  • hee bee
    February 21, 2014 - 11:34

    beverage only express? !!! finally! great idea!

  • Nothing special about it
    February 20, 2014 - 15:35

    I am surprised it lasted this long ,it was terribly expensive for ice cream and there was nothing special about it........MacDonald's soft ice cream was WAY cheaper ..and better..even better and cheaper than Diary Queen.

  • Kirsty
    February 20, 2014 - 14:31

    Too bad. My family have only bought Coldstone cakes for birthdays for the past few years... Much better quality than Dairy Queen! Will be missed

  • Logan D.
    February 20, 2014 - 13:52

    Well For Frig sakes it's about time well they should of at least taking it out of the PEI Tim's for sure, Because If they haven't noticed that Most or if not All Islanders Are CHEAP that's one of the big reasons there sales aren't that good, like really $6.00 for a little cup of Ice-cream when I can go and Get pretty much two Tubes of Ice-cream for that Price, In my opinion that's worst Than Starbucks... But that will be for another Day.

  • its good
    February 20, 2014 - 13:38

    probably the best icecream pei has to offer at a reasonable price. take a look at cows folks, or laura seacord ice cream. coldstone is the best and will be forever missed.

  • Mom
    February 20, 2014 - 12:29

    It was just plain too expensive. We took our children for a treat after they first opened and and it cost 23 dollars! That was the first and last time.

  • Shawn
    February 20, 2014 - 11:41

    I'm glad they're pulling it. Hopefully they'll change the recipe to make it better. Its overpriced and doesn't taste good.

  • how it is...
    February 20, 2014 - 11:29

    Go figure.... Why would a person buy a single serving of ice cream from a big chain restaurant when you could get a tub of it at the grocery store for the same price? Or at least if you're going to treat yourself get a much better and more reasonably priced dessert at a local dairy bar!