Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cold Stone

A few days ago I visited the new Cold Stone Creamery in Jongno. Cold Stone is an ice cream chain that I previously knew in Northern Virginia. They specialize in mixing bits of candy in with your ice cream - M&Ms, Oreos, and the like.

This Cold Stone location just opened a few weeks ago, and you could feel the enthusiasm among the employees. They didn't just have fake "service worker" smiles - two employees were stationed outside the front door pulling people in (common enough at nightclubs around here, but at an ice cream shop?) and the employees regularly burst into Cold Stone songs, in both Korean and English. Granted, chain stores in Korea are often overmanned by American standards, but I've never seen, say, Starbucks employees start singing Starbucks-themed songs.

I suspect the Cold Stone in Jongno is the first Cold Stone in the country. Jongno's not the ritziest part of Seoul but it's got good nightlife and it's full of chain stores. Makes sense they'd put the first one here.

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