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Thayer Cold Stone shuts its doors

Cold Stone Creamery on Thayer Street closed its doors last week, leaving College Hill ice cream-lovers disappointed and a handful of local students out of a job.

Kristina Gedutis, who co-owned the Thayer Street franchise with her husband, Craig, for five years, said the store's sales were down 30 percent from 2008.

Though the location's rent remained the same, dwindling revenues made it difficult for the owners to make payments, she said.

"I'm not sure why sales were down," she said. "Everyone always blames the economy, but I'm sure there were other reasons."

Gedutis said she and her husband decided to vacate the location, though their lease guaranteed them use of the space through this December.

The couple run another ice cream parlor in Cranston, which has not suffered as drastic a decline in sales, she said.

In February, Cold Stone — an international chain of ice cream parlors known for its trademark "mix-ins" with more than 1,400 franchised locations worldwide — formed a partnership with Tim Hortons, the Ontario-based restaurant chain. Gedutis said the opening of a joint Tim Hortons-Cold Stone location on Dorrance Street downtown negatively affected her Thayer Street parlor's business.

"When we first opened, business was great — we definitely had our following," she said.

"There wasn't another Cold Stone in Providence, so we got most of the area's business."
Gedutis said when the downtown Cold Stone opened, she saw revenue drop.

"I am bitter toward that," she said. "It wasn't really fair."



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