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Baskin-Robbins is a global chain of ice cream parlors founded by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in 1953, from the merging of their respective ice cream parlors, in Glendale, California. It claims to be the world’s largest ice cream franchise, with more than 5,800 locations, 2,800 of which are located in the United States. Baskin-Robbins sells ice cream in over 30 countries, including Canada, Japan, Mexico, The Dominican Republic, Bahrain, The United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Bangladesh, South Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Panama and Taiwan. The Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors started as separate ventures from Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins, owning Burt’s Ice Cream Shop and Snowbird Ice Cream respectively. Snowbird Ice Cream featured 21 flavors, a novel concept for the time. When the separate companies merged in 1953, this concept grew to 31 flavors.
Baskin-Robbins is known for its “31 flavors” slogan. The idea for having 31 flavors came from the Carson-Roberts advertising agency (which later became Ogilvy & Mather) in 1953, along with the slogan “Count the Flavors. Where flavor counts.” 31 was also more than the 28 flavors then famously offered at Howard Johnson’s restaurants. Burt and Irv also believed that people should be able to sample flavors until they found one they wanted to buy â€• hence the iconic small pink spoon. During a now famous promotion, Amy Boggioni led a group of three who finished 31 scoops of all 31 flavors in under 31 minutes. By 1948, Burt and Irv opened six stores, the first franchise covering the sale of ice cream was executed May 20, 1948, for the store at 1130 South Adams in Glendale (Store #1). Burt and Irv were brothers-in-law. In 1949, the companyâ€™s own production facility opened in Burbank. They made the decision to sell the stores to the managers, thus becoming one of the first franchised food service businesses. In 1953, Baskin-Robbins hired Carson-Roberts Advertising who recommended adoption of the 31 as well as the pink (cherry) and brown (chocolate) polka dots and typeface that were reminiscent of the circus. The first store that adopted the new 31 look was 804 North Glendale Ave. in Glendale, California in March of 1953. Between 1949 and 1962, the corporate firm was Huntington Ice Cream Company. The name succeeded The Baskin-Robbins Partnership and was eventually changed back to Baskin-Robbins, Inc. on November 26, 1962. The Baskin-Robbins company was also the first to introduce ice cream cakes to the public