By Kerry Pipes

Pittsburgh-based Bruster’s Real Ice Cream has been “Scooping Smiles” for more than three decades. The quality of its product is unrivaled, its customers are raving fans, and its franchisees are valuable and successful business leaders and members of their communities.

And this summer Bruster’s celebrated its 31st anniversary while savoring recent successes, including double-digit growth in new franchise agreements and company-high sales up more than 12 percent from 2019. Influenced by what CEO Jim Sahene calls a “powerful combination of brand confidence and our best-ever marketing efforts,” Bruster’s inked deals for 12 new franchise agreements this summer, an increase of almost 2.5x from the same time in 2019. The deals included a development agreement for three locations in Los Angeles as well as another development agreement for five locations in Virginia.

“We’ve been blessed to see our brand and company grow during these trying times,” Sahene continued. “Our Franchise Development team has done an excellent job supporting current franchisees to expand their businesses and footprints while also introducing Bruster’s to a new generation of owners that will fortify our future.”

In addition to business success, Bruster’s is also busy raising awareness and donations for Feeding America to help fight hunger in communities across America. Announcing its first-annual benefit last month during Hunger Action Month, Bruster’s hosted a fundraiser Saturday, September 12.

“We first connected with Feeding America in late 2019 to discuss the possibility of a partnership,” said Jennifer Brinker, VP of Marketing at Bruster’s. “And then when COVID19 hit it became even more pressing – we wanted to get involved and help. Our partnership has focused on raising funds that further the impact of Feeding America. It’s been a great way to give back.”

Bruster’s set an initial fundraising goal of $20,000 for its Cones for a Cause event during which the company donated $1 for every waffle cone sold. Every $1 donated helps provide 20 meals* for people in need, which could result in a minimum of 800,000 meals from this effort. In addition to store sales, the Corporate Team committed 100 percent match (up to $20,000) bringing the total possible minimum donation to $40,000.

“A great deal of our current franchisees have already been taking active steps in their communities to help,” Kim Ellis, VP, Franchise Development & Legal continued. “And through this partnership we drove great support and engagement with our customers, working together towards a shared cause.”  

Whether through growing or giving back, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream has separated itself from the pack of competitors. Bruster’s path is one of growth, of opportunity, and of smiles and the brand and its passionate franchisees lean on its core values – respect, accountability, involvement, heart, and fun.

If Bruster’s Real Ice Cream’s growth, culture, and 150 flavors of premium, handcrafted ice cream, yogurt, Italian ice and sorbet, sound like the kind of investment you are interested in you can find out more information on becoming a franchisee by calling (724) 312-8739 or visiting

*Every $1 donated to Feeding America helps secure and distribute at least 20 meals to people facing hunger through the Feeding America network of food banks. Donations from Bruster’s to Feeding America will be matched by Tony Robbins through the 1 Billion Meals Challenge providing twice the impact.

Source:, Sept 2020