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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, December 3

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Openings Tue Jul 27 2010

Palermo Bakery Opens in Old Town

palermo sign.jpg

Wells Street in Old Town is fast becoming Chicago's premiere destination for unique, upscale confections. In a two block stretch, one can find The Twisted Baker, Delightful Pastries, The Fudge Pot and the vague outlines of a burgeoning Kilwins. Today, we can add Palermo Bakery to the list, as it opened the doors to its third - and unquestionably most accessible - location at 1533 N. Wells St., in the shell of a defunct Coldstone Creamery. Along with serving all the usual suspects - crescents, cannolis, cartoccis, and pasticciottis - Palermo's Old Town location is the only one to serve gelato.

While two doors down, The Twisted Baker sat dark - it closes at the frustratingly early hour of 7pm on weeknights - Palermo was downright hopping, on this decidedly perfect July evening.

Goodbye French Toast ice cream. Hello Pistachio Amaros and Amaretti Verdis.

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David / July 27, 2010 4:46 PM

Of course Cold Stone stores are closing down throughout the nation because Cold Stone franchise owners are not profitable. Cold Stone has known for years that franchisees cannot make a profit and they have been promising to fix it. Yet year-after-year we owners lose our retirement savings and kids’ college funds at an epidemic pace. More-and-more Cold Stone stores close down and their owners head straight to bankruptcy court while the company makes huge profits itself.

At first, they lied and said they did not take kickbacks. Later, they admitted to the franchisees that they did. They told us we could not buy products from Sam's, Costco's and other wholesalers, then they stated in a national article that we have always had that permission. You never know where the truth lies with Dan Beem and Kevin Blackwell, but if you're a franchise owner, you're better off going left if they tell you it's in your best interest to go right.

This I also know, for three years now I've been suffering in these franchises losing several thousand dollars each month while listening to their lies. No more! I'm now broke and have no more money to give to these deceitful--mean people. I, like so many other franchisees across the nation, am planning to close my store after the summer, file bankruptcy and be done with them. There is little wonder to me that recently revealed that Cold Stone has a whopping 31% SBA failure rate. (That's incredible considering the SBA ceased financing Cold Stones years ago due to the large number of failures.)
A word of warning if you are considering buying a Cold Stone franchise: DON’T DO IT!!!!!

Cold Stone Creamery Franchisee

Mike Gebert / July 28, 2010 11:09 AM

I tried Cold Stone once. Nasty chemical-y stuff, full of antifreezes so it stays pliable enough to mix the junk food in. I'm sorry for any small businessman to fail, but there's a lesson there about putting the promises of riches ahead of making a good, solid product.

imaskeptic / July 28, 2010 9:31 PM

Go figure... maybe with all the vacant Cold Stone Creamery locations nationwide, there would be more of these shops opening up.. you know innovative, making what the customers want...With more Cold Stone's slated to close come October and even more that will just walk away from thier 300K investments, this could open up some valuable, overpriced maybe even better negoiated locations. Good Luck guys... too bad Cold Stone couldn't read the writing on the wall. Glad you could!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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