Who doesn’t love Baskin-Robbins? Seriously, from the ice cream cakes to the seemingly endless array of flavors, it’s just about impossible to dislike the world’s largest chain of ice cream parlors. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about it.
Baskin-Robbins was indeed founded by men named Baskin and Robbins, two brothers-in-law named Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins, both World War II veterans, in 1945. Before they decided to join forces, Baskin owned Burton’s Ice Cream Shop and Robbins owned Snowbird Ice Cream, both in Glendale, Calif. In 1953, the separate companies (each of which had opened multiple locations by that point) merged to create the chain we know today. After merging, the company hired advertising agency Carson-Roberts, who recommended boosting the flavor variety count to 31 and adopting a polka dot, circus-like theme. The chain became more successful than Baskin and Robbins could have ever imagined, and in 1970 the chain opened its first international locations.
Today, after a series of ownership changes and mergers over the years, Baskin-Robbins is a part of Dunkin’ Brands, the holding company that also owns Dunkin’ Donuts. The company has been doing its best to change with the times: In 2008 they launched healthier options with a “BRight Choices” menu and removed artificial trans fats from their ice cream. While it has faced major competition from fro-yo shops over the past decade or so, its fortunes began to turn around a couple years ago, when it began opening new locations for the first time in years.
Today there are about 2,500 locations of Baskin-Robbins around the country, with about 7,300 worldwide. Whether you firmly believe that no birthday party is complete without one of Baskin-Robbins’ legendary ice cream cakes, or if you only stop in occasionally for a scoop of Jamoca Almond Fudge, there are plenty of interesting things to learn about this classic ice cream chain.