Locals own scoop of ice cream franchise

Mike DiPietro, his wife Cindy and their children Matthew, Erica

GILROY
– One of the most recent recruits to the budding Pacheco Pass
Center, which will house and neighbor large nationally-known stores
like Lowe’s and Costco, is owned by a longtime Gilroy couple.
GILROY – One of the most recent recruits to the budding Pacheco Pass Center, which will house and neighbor large nationally-known stores like Lowe’s and Costco, is owned by a longtime Gilroy couple.

Mike Dipietro confirmed Wednesday that he and his wife Cindy will own and operate a new Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shop. The franchise is known for its custom flavors made on the spot atop a frozen granite slab.

The Gilroy shop will be the Dipietros’ sixth Cold Stone Creamery franchise. The couple owns stores in Campbell and San Jose as well as the Gilroy Togo’s on First Street.

“We’re happy to have a store in town,” Mike Dipietro said. “We think of it just like Togo’s. We believe in the quality of the product and a great product value.”

Cold Stone Creamery has awarded franchise licenses for more than 590 creameries in over 33 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands, with plans of having 1,000 units by 2004.

Dipietro, who has lived in Gilroy since 1982, said he is shooting for a June or July opening for his newest store, before the arrival of the hot summer months.

“It would be good timing,” Dipietro said.

Gilroy Economic Development Corporation Bill Lindsteadt said he was pleased to see stores in the new shopping centers under local ownership. A coffee shop that will neighbor Cold Stone Creamery, called It’s a Grind, is also owned locally. Lindsteadt could not recall the name of the woman who owns the store.

“It makes sense for local people to own the smaller stores (next to the large-scale retailers),” Lindsteadt said. “It’s going to be a great shopping center, so I’m not surprised (local people are moving in).

In addition to Lowe’s, Cold Stone and It’s a Grind, other stores opening in the Pacheco Pass Center include Subway sandwich shop, Jamba Juice and Chinese food chain Panda Express.

Pacheco Pass Center at the junction of U.S. 101 and state Highway 152 is across the street from Gilroy Crossings, a 450,000-square-foot retail shopping center. Anchored by Target and Kohl’s department stores, other large retailers will include PetsMart, Michael’s, SportMart, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Barnes & Noble.

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