Gourmet Ice Cream Chain Cauldron Begins Canadian Expansion

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By Megan Harman

Popular gourmet California ice cream chain Cauldron Ice Cream is set to open its first Canadian location in Toronto this summer.

Toronto-based franchise holding company W&S Canada Corp. has signed a lease at 502 Queen Street West – located in between Bathurst St. and Spadina Ave. – with plans to open the new location this summer. The company intends to eventually open several other locations in Toronto as well.

Cauldron, which launched in 2015, specializes in liquid nitrogen ice cream – a trendy new way of making small batches of ice cream instantaneously. Cauldron offers a variety of unique flavours such as Earl Grey Lavender, Milk and Cereal, S’mores, H20 Rose, Pineapple Express, and Red Velvet.

 Cauldron will replace the 'Epicure cafe & Grill' at 502 Queen Street West. Photo: Google Street View.

Cauldron will replace the 'Epicure cafe & Grill' at 502 Queen Street West. Photo: Google Street View.

Cauldron has gained notoriety for the artistic presentation of its ice cream, which is often served in the shape of roses. The chain is also well known for its “OG Puffle Cone”, an egg-based waffle cone that was inspired by a popular Hong Kong street snack.

“We had been following Cauldron for a while and were interested in finding a way to bring the innovative and exciting concept to Canada,” W&S Canada says in a statement emailed to Retail Insider.

The new Queen Street store will be Cauldron Ice Cream’s first location outside of California. The chain currently operates a handful of locations throughout California, including stores in Santa Ana, Artesia, Glendale and Chino Hills. The company has plans to open more than 10 additional locations, including stores in Orange, San Diego and Santa Clara counties.

Since Toronto has become a hotspot for trendy food items, with consumers willing to wait in lengthy lineups for foods ranging from cheesecake and donuts to tacos and burgers, W&S Canada says the city is an ideal location for Cauldron Ice Cream.

“The first Cauldron store will be located in Toronto, which is a vibrant city that we love,” says the statement from W&S Canada. “We think Cauldron’s unique flavors and presentation will be a welcome addition to Toronto's budding food community.”

The franchisees expect that Cauldron will become a destination within the city. “Cauldron will bring more than just ice cream to Canada,” W&S Canada says. “It will bring an experience.”

Cauldron Ice Cream has partnered with franchise development company Fransmart to grow the brand. Fransmart has worked with brands such as Five Guys Burgers and Fries, The Halal Guys, and Qdoba Mexican Grill.

Cauldron is currently looking to expand into other major markets, as well, by partnering with experienced multi-unit food service operators.

Megan Harman is a business reporter based in Toronto. She writes about topics including retail, financial services and technology. Megan covers Toronto’s retail industry through her blog Retail Realm (torontoretail.wordpress.com). Follow her on Twitter at @meganmharman.

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