Ice cream lovers can buy Haagen-Dazs at almost any grocery in Colorado Springs. Starting next week, they also will be able to buy it at a standalone store, which will boast more flavors and other treats.
A Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop is set to open Wednesday in the Promenade Shops at Briargate, southeast of Briargate and Voyager parkways on the city’s far north side. Haagen-Dazs will occupy a 1,241-square-foot storefront, near Starbucks, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Omaha Steaks, Chico’s fashions and the Toni & Guy hair salon.
Similar Haagen-Dazs stores can be found at a few major shopping centers in the Denver area; the Promenade Shops at Briargate location will be Colorado Springs’ first.
Vijay Hurkute, a 35-year information technology worker who’s employed by a major health care company, says he’s always been a Haagen-Dazs fanatic. For years, he wanted to launch a business venture of his own; after raising money and exploring options, he became a Haagen-Dazs franchisee and the operator of the Springs store.
“I know Haagen-Dazs is the best and I wanted to bring it back to the city,” said Hurkute, whose shop will employ five people to start. “Anytime I go to King Soopers or any store, I have to buy Haagen-Dazs ice cream. The freezer is full of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.”
His favorites? The caramel-flavored dulce de leche and rum raisin.
Haagen-Dazs bills itself as premium ice cream made with top-of-the-line, natural ingredients.
Haagen-Dazs was launched in 1960 with just three flavors — vanilla, chocolate and coffee — by a husband-and-wife team in New York who invented a Danish-sounding name for their ice cream and built it into a worldwide brand, according to the ice cream maker’s website and news articles. The first Haagen-Dazs store opened in 1976 in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.
Groceries that carry Haagen-Dazs typically stock only a handful of flavors, Hurkute said. His shop will have more than 24 varieties, along with cones, smoothies, dazzlers (a Haagen-Dazs sundae) and ice cream cakes. Customers can buy ice cream to eat on the spot or take home, he said.
Hurkute said he was attracted to the Promenade Shops at Briargate because of its location. An ice cream shop needs the kind of foot traffic that’s generated at the Promenade Shops, he said. The shopping center also is close to the Air Force Academy and other north side attractions.
“It is kind of a landmark shopping center for Colorado Springs,” Hurkute said.
Deanna Miller, general manager of the Promenade Shops, said the 16-year-old center’s stock-and-trade has been to feature stores and restaurants that have a single location in town. Some of them include Apple, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, Ted’s Montana Grill and P.F. Chang’s.
“It’s really our point of difference,” Miller said. “We are always striving to bring new offerings to the market and Haagen-Dazs is one of those.”
Two more new-to-market retailers also will open at the Promenade Shops at Briargate.
Anthony Vince’ Nail Spa, a full-service nail salon and spa, opens Sunday. The Walking Company, a high-end shoe store, opens in 60 to 90 days, Miller said.