Sub Zero Franchise Opens First PA Location in Altoona

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Tom & Cherie Brandt really enjoy ice cream. While watching an episode of the television series Shark Tank, they saw a pitch for an ice cream operation called Sub Zero. It is an ice cream operation that utilizes a patented instant freezing technique to make the customer’s ice cream right on the spot. Not only is the process for making the ice cream using nitrogen an attention grabber, the ability to offer the customer a variety of flavors and toppings in different forms is key. It also allows a number of options for those with dietary restrictions or for those simply trying to eat healthy. The instant freezing aspect of this concept means that you do not have to have a huge freezer with an inventory of ice cream. This keeps utility costs lower, storage space smaller and the ice cream will always be fresh. Sub Zero was founded in 2004 by Jerry & Naomi Hancock and the company is based in Utah. When the Brandt’s approached their local bank to discuss financing options and it was suggested to them that they contact the Small Business Development Center for assistance.

On October 22, 2013, the Saint Francis University SBDC met with Tom and Cherie at their Blair Outreach location to discuss the possible start-up of the business. The SBDC explained to them what information we would need in order to assist them in completing the business plan and projected financial statements. The goal was to show the bank, as well as other potential lenders, that they had the background and experience necessary to operate this as a profitable business. Tom and Cherie have experience in business as they have been operating their own home renovation and sales business. They have made a profit on each and every home they purchased and resold. They were willing to make a full commitment to the new business. Not only would they be investing their own money into the project, Cherie would be leaving her present job as a nurse to work full-time at the business.

The SBDC assisted Tom and Cherie in preparing a business plan, three year projected income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flow and a detailed narrative explaining how they arrived at the projected figures. As they were working on the planning, the SBDC was looking into other possible funding options. It was suggested that they contact the Altoona-Blair County Development (ABCD) Corporation to discuss financing. Upon completion of his business plan and projected financial statements, they presented the package to a local bank and the ABCD Corporation for financing.

In 2015, the Brandt’s informed the SBDC that the financing for this project was approved. A local bank approved part of the project and ABCD Corporation approved funds through their Intermediary Relending Program and the Brandt’s invested their own cash. Cherie is the full-time employee and they have hired an additional 14 part-time employees as well. This is the first Sub Zero franchise in Pennsylvania and they are an area developer as well. They have already had several inquiries about opening other franchisees in Pennsylvania. They also offer on site and catering options for the business as well. They have been setting up at several local events and fairs selling their ice cream. The SBDC also put them in contact with Walt Frank at the Altoona Mirror and he wrote an article about the franchise opening an Altoona location.