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GHS graduate finds success with Cold Stone franchise

by SUMMER ZALESKY Daily Inter Lake
| December 25, 2022 12:00 AM

From employee to owner, 20-year-old Abby Fritz has moved up the ranks to become one of Cold Stone Creamery’s youngest franchisees with her ownership of the Kalispell location.

After graduating from Glacier High School in 2020, Fritz started a pre-veterinarian track at Montana State University in Bozeman. However, in the midst of the remote learning environment brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, Fritz reassessed her future and decided to pursue business ownership instead.

“I’m more of a hands-on learner,” said Fritz. “I’m still interested in [animal science] and I work at a clinic as a vet tech, but this was a better opportunity for me so I moved into that.”

Growing up on a farm, Fritz has always had a passion for animals and when she’s not working as a vet tech or running Cold Stone, she volunteers her time with FFA.

“I’ve done 10 years with the hog project and 12 years overall in 4-H. My dad was in 4-H and his dad was a club leader, so it's always been in the family,” said Fritz.

Fritz attributes her hard work ethic to growing up in the FFA and 4-H space as well as guidance from her parents.

“My parents always encouraged me to work hard and with the amount of time I had put into this place, everyone knew I would own a Cold Stone one day. I basically lived here in high school,” Fritz said with a laugh.

Fritz loves promoting sales on social media and with Glacier Values, a local coupon book, and encourages fun competitions within her team to reach goals.

“Within our store, we have a ton of different sales that get sent out monthly and we try to bring in as many people as we can with the coupons. We are at the top for sales most of the time when I look at other Montana stores and we were eight in the nation for dipped waffle cone sales in September,” explained Fritz and said that since March, the Kalispell store has been in the top 30 in the nation for all waffle cone sales.

As a young business owner, Fritz explained that it's important to carry herself confidently and be involved in the day-to-day operation of the store. Fritz continues to set goals for the ice cream shop and hopes to cater next summer for large events and weddings.

“When I first started at Cold Stone, they catered a lot, but then they stopped. I really loved catering and most events have either a food truck or dessert truck so I want to get more involved in that,” said Fritz.

The store also participates in fundraisers, auctions, and raffles with local schools and Fritz said that she welcomes any opportunity to give back to the community.

“I’m a big ice cream lover and I really like the brand.” Fritz continued, “I want people to see how much I enjoy working here. When this opportunity came, I was like, ‘for sure!’ because I want to continue doing this. I’m just super excited.”

Cold Stone Creamery is located at 110 Hutton Ranch Rd, Ste 104, Kalispell. For more information, call 752-2653.

Reporter Summer Zalesky may be reached at szalesky@dailyinterlake.com.