- The Washington Times - Monday, May 20, 2002

Maggie Moo's Ice Cream and Treatery is udderly excited about its expansion plans this year.
The Columbia, Md.-based ice cream chain is on track to have as many as 100 stores open by the end of the year. Already the company has 65 franchised locations and two company-owned stores.
"We're on fire," says Richard Sharoff, president and chief executive. "We're selling franchises at a record rate. It's a very exciting time."
Company officials meet with three to five franchise prospects each week, Mr. Sharoff says. And Maggie Moo's is averaging one store opening per week.
Its newest store, located at the Mall in Columbia opened earlier this month and will serve as a training center and a flavor-tasting facility, as well as an eatery, Mr. Sharoff says.
Until now company executives and new franchisees would trek to Alexandria where the other company store is located to get the proper training.
Maggie Moo's makes all of its ice cream at it each of its stores, which display about 24 flavors at a time, rotating in new flavors on a regular basis. Customers can choose from nearly 40 different "mix-ins" like candies, fruits and nuts. These "mix-ins" are then hand-folded into the ice cream on a frozen granite table, pushing out any pockets of air and making it ready to eat in a waffle cone, cup or sundae.
Currently there are 11 stores in the Washington area but the local market can handle as many as 40 or 50 locations, Mr. Sharoff says.
Mr. Sharoff, looking to the future, says Maggie Moo's has the potential to grow into a company with 500 to even 1,000 locations someday.

Food store fight
The Giant food fight is over.
The long-running dispute over the expansion of a 12,000-square-foot Giant in Cleveland Park at Newark Street and Wisconsin Avenue in the District has been resolved.
The Cleveland Park Citizens Association and Landover-based Giant Food have come to an agreement to finally get construction of a newly designed and expanded Giant off the ground.
The citizens group, originally opposed to Giant's initial expansion plans that would eliminate a "pedestrian-friendly" street along Wisconsin Avenue, withdrew its application to declare the Giant's home Friendship Shopping Center as a historical site. In return, Giant agreed to keep entrances along Wisconsin Avenue.
"We would have liked to have gone in a different direction with the exterior of the store but will make the best of what we have," says Giant spokesman Barry Scher. "We're moving on."
Construction is set to begin at the end of the summer or beginning of the fall and take about 10 months, Mr. Scher says. The expanded 30,000-square-foot store will include, among other things, a pharmacy and much more needed space.
The battle over Giant's expansion and renovation plans has been going on for three years as some neighborhood opposition mounted over the design of the expanded store. Neighbors were even pitted against each other when the citizens group submitted the historic-preservation application earlier this year. If that application had been accepted Giant would not have been able to change any exterior elements to the buildings.

Summer travelin'
A slight increase in travel is expected this summer although travelers plan to take shorter trips, spend less money and stay closer to home.
Americans will take more than 233 million trips traveling 50 or more miles, one-way away from homein June, July and August up 2 percent from last year, according to the latest forecast from the Travel Industry Association of America.
On average Americans expect to take about three trips this summer and intend to stay an average of just over eight nights on their longest pleasure trip. Travelers also are keeping a tight hold on their wallets spending about 9 percent less than last year or $1,066 on average during their longest trip.
Florida and California are the top two destinations that travelers would like to visit, followed by New York. Washington, D.C., is eighth, according to the study.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Retail & Hospitality appears every other Monday.



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