Role: Owner of Cool Moose Creamery, Greig Perantinos * As the owner we have the ultimate decision making power Issue: Should we purchase a soft-serve ice cream machine for Cool Moose? Is this the best way to continue to grow the business? Should we purchase a single-head or triple-head machine? Should we purchase a new or used soft-serve machine? Goals: Greig Perantino is in his final year of studies at the Richard Ivey School of business and he wants to grow Cool Moose so that it can be a full-time operation for him among graduation.
He wants to maintain strong brand recognition as well as a loyal customer base. He is also committed to helping the community, making customers smile and inspiring employees. It is very important for Greig’s employees to maintain personal relationships with the customers of Cool Moose that live in the small towns where Cool Moose is located. In these small towns, almost everyone knows each other, so providing quality service and having friendly relations is crucial for positive word-of-mouth advertising.
Ultimately, Greig wants to further grow Cool Moose and make sure that it can provide him with enough money for a full-time income. Industry/Market: All of the towns that Cool Moose is located in are small towns not far outside the Greater Toronto Area. The town of Alliston for example, will attract several occasional and one-time customers through tourists that come to the annual potato festival and to see South Simcoe Railway’s historic steam train. The town will also have many loyal local customers that work near the location or that frequently visit the downtown core.
The ice cream industry proves not very hard to enter, if a busy university student can successfully find time to research and start-up a company for a summer venture. However, the idea of making Cool Moose a full-time, all year round business is potentially risky as sales tend to be seasonal with a lot more attraction to the city in the summer months and ice cream being a treat on a hot summers day. Business in the off-summer months would therefore mainly come from locals, so it is very important for Greig to appeal to the wants of these customers in order to be successful year round.
Competition: In Alliston, Cool Moose is the only business that offers scooped ice cream. However, Dairy Queen would become a direct competitor of Cool Moose if they were to offer soft-serve ice cream. DQ is a threat to Cool Moose because they are famously known throughout North America for their signature soft-serve ice cream and for excellent customer satisfaction. They also offer a variety of fast-food options that help to increase their sales in the off-summer months.
However, Cool Moose has the opportunity to offer the same soft-serve ice cream treat for a lower price than DQ. This lower price could encourage families, locals and tourists who enjoy soft-serve to switch to Cool Moose given the challenging economic times and recession. Additionally, when tourists go to visit a small town such as Alliston, they may be more willing to try the local ice cream shop to experience part of the small town culture, as opposed to having DQ, which you can find just about anywhere.
Opportunity: Cool Moose has the opportunity to differentiate its soft-serve from Dairy Queen’s by purchasing a triple-head machine that not only makes vanilla soft-serve, but also chocolate and vanilla chocolate swirl. DQ only makes vanilla soft-serve, although they do have the Blizzard, which allows customers to “customize” their soft-serve by adding a choice of toppings. The Alliston store seems like the right location for Cool Moose to invest in a soft-serve ice cream machine.
This store helped to grow Cool Moose’s sales by 233% in 2008 and of all the other locations; Alliston is the city with the largest employer in Simcoe County, which means there would be more local customers in Alliston for Cool Moose to attract year round. Therefore, the greatest opportunity for Greig to achieve a full-time income is through expanding the product line at the Alliston location. Additionally, Greig has received the Student Entrepreneur Champion Award from a national not-for-profit organization called Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship.
This award helps give Cool Moose credibility and great publicity. If locals read the article about this ice cream store in their town, they could also be more likely to support a hard working, young entrepreneur that they feel a more personal connection too, as opposed to a large multinational corporation with no strings attached. Risks: Greig is in his final year of studies at the Richard Ivey School of Business, and it is safe to assume that upon graduation, Greig will have a large student loan that he will have to pay off.
Therefore, it could be very stressful for him to take on an additional loan of either $15,000 or $25,000 to help finance the purchase of a soft-serve machine. Instead of taking on a bank loan, Greig could purchase a used machine, but then he runs the risk of losing even more money to the cost of repairs. Health and safety issues could also be more prominent with a used machine as it may run a little slower, take longer to clean etc. Even if Greig purchases a new machine, Cool Moose may still face numerous health and safety issues.
These machines must be cleaned thoroughly every night and would require Greig to pay an employee overtime to stay late and clean the machine. Training would be required for each employee to learn how to operate and clean these machines and if not cleaned properly machines could spread bacteria and food-borne illnesses. The business is seasonal, and even the expansion of the product line may not be enough to provide Greig with a full time income. Also, if he is graduating from a prestigious business program, with successful business experience, there should be many other opportunities for Greig to earn a full-time income elsewhere.