The great frozen treat land rush unfolding in Austin

Abbott’s Frozen Custard, 16 Handles scooping up space

Frozen Custard, Yogurt Shops Rushing to Austin

A photo illustration of 16 Handles CEO Neil Hershman and downtown Austin (Getty, 16 Handles)

Winter has come to the country, but don’t tell that to the companies trying to push frozen treats in the Austin metro area.

Both Abbott’s Frozen Custard and 16 Handles are hitting the gas on plans to grow market share in Austin and elsewhere in Texas, the Austin Business Journal reported. Both companies are scooping up space and deploying franchise models to the area.

Abbott’s, based out of New York, has 36 locations across six states, but plans to more than double its store count through Lone Star state expansion alone. The chain plans to open 100 locations in Texas, already buying a property in Kyle and eyeing sites in Leander and Manor; the company expects to open at least 10 shops in the Austin area in the next four or five years.

The store in Kyle is expected to open in the first quarter of the new year. Construction of the store is estimated to cost $740,000.

The franchising process for the Abbott’s locations is expected to launch next year, carrying a franchising fee of $37,000 per location. The leader of Southern Scoops, which is leading the real estate charge for Abbott’s, said locations should be 1,000 to 1,400 square feet and standalone stores should range from a half-acre to a full acre.

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Abbott’s isn’t the only frozen delicacy lurching into Austin. Another New York-based company, frozen yogurt supplier 16 Handles, is franchising stores in the area and eyeing seven to 10 openings in the next three years.

One store is under development in Northwest Austin, which is expected to open in the summer. The franchise fee and cost for a 16 Handles runs the gamut, from $242,500 all the way to $553,000. The company wants locations in built-out areas with nighttime traffic, near restaurants and retail centers.

Franchisees can expect larger stores than Abbott’s operators, ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 square feet. Part of that stems from the picturesque seating arrangement seen in most 16 Handles locations, featuring lounge-style benches running along the walls.

Holden Walter-Warner