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After a rough start the corporate office is determined to keep the stores in Newberg

Just a few months after the opening of the joint Blimpie/Cold Stone Creamery restaurant in February 2017, the store closed its doors on March 2017, only to suddenly re-open a year later in March.

The store first opened under the ownership of a franchisee, but now it is corporate-owned with the hopes of getting the fledgling business back on its feet.

It took some time for the corporate office of Kahala Brands to re-organize and officially re-open the store in order to keep the brand moving forward in Oregon. Kahala Brands owns the brands of Blimpie and Cold Stone and sells franchises, which normally are separate but in Newberg were joined into one store.

"We knew that this was a city and a region that we wanted to have our two brands in. We wanted to have the Blimpie and Cold Stone in the Newberg area. The last thing we wanted was to see our store close down," Blake Borwick, vice president of operations for Blimpie, said. "We are now operating as a corporate store and running it ourselves with a local manager and local staff. We had hoped to rehire all of them (the old staff), but some of them have moved on to other jobs."

Kahala Brands is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., and owns 26 national and international brands, including Taco Time, Baja Fresh, Pinkberry, Great Steak and others.

The Newberg store is off to a good start following the re-opening, Borwick said.

"The response from the community has been very positive," he added. "We're really excited to get the store back open again and we think it is a great market for both of our brands. We are really looking forward to our store being there for a very long time."

Borwick said the company's intention is to return the store back to a local franchise.

"We prefer to have our stores run by local operators. We are looking for someone to take over the store with two brands in it," he said. "We want our stores to be locally owned and run by local operators that is a part of our business model."

Kahala is looking for the right buyer.

"Sometimes a person comes along and it's a great fit and sometimes it just takes a little bit longer. We look for a person who has an entrepreneurial spirit and wants to have ownership in the store and wants to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the store. That is an important part of the business model that the franchisee, the owner, is in the store on a daily basis and is running it themselves and managing it themselves," Borwick said.

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