Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Zaxby’s and Baskin-Robbins are now open for business on Signal Mountain Road, providing the area with new options for dining and refreshment as well as approximately 80 new jobs between both stores.
Owners Julie and Shannon Brown of East Brainerd opened the first of their six local Zaxby’s locations in Fort Oglethorpe 12 years ago, but this is the couple’s first Baskin-Robbins store.
“I think everyone loves a soda shop,” said Julie Brown of their decision to open a location of the popular ice cream shop, which she feels will be appealing and affordable for customers of all ages, from little league players to teenagers to seniors on a fixed income. “It’s a good place to go without spending an arm and a leg.”
They chose the location for its proximity to multiple areas including Mountain Creek Road, Red Bank, Signal Mountain, North Chattanooga, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Marion County.
“It’s a well-traveled path for a lot of people,” said Brown. “There are not a lot of dining options, especially quick options, on this side of town, and few dessert options. We thought it would be a very good mix.”
In addition to 40 flavors of ice cream, Baskin-Robbins also has at least 150 ice cream cakes in stock, smoothies, shakes, coffee drinks, clown cones, banana splits, sundaes and miniature four-piece ice cream cake samplers.
“You could come every day for a year and we could probably still serve you something different every day you came,” said Brown.
Flavors include unusual varieties such as blueberry cheesecake, watermelon chocolate chip and salty caramel. A new flavor also rotates in each month; August will feature the Olympic-theme Gold Medal Ribbon with chocolate and vanilla ice cream laced with a ribbon of caramel.
“We pride ourselves on our little pink spoons,” Brown said. “If you want to try different flavors, it’s no trouble at all.”
Her and her husband’s Baskin-Robbins is the fourth store of its kind in the world, she said. Most of the chain’s stores are located in shopping centers and lack the outdoor seating and drive-thru options featured at their standalone store.
The Zaxby’s also has a new layout, boasting better flow between the counter where customers pick up their order and the drink station, now entirely separate.
Diners can enjoy Zaxby’s chicken fingers, wings, unique salads and appetizers surrounded by memorabilia from local schools.
“It really reflects the community we’re located in,” said Brown, adding that she intends to form connections with area churches, schools and organizations for charitable projects.
The couple also owns the lot next door to Baskin-Robbins, which Brown said is currently for sale.
She said they plan to open more Zaxby’s and Baskin-Robbins stores in the Chattanooga area, but have yet to decide on any definite locations.