Changes are afoot at Gateway Courtyard Shopping Center.
Home of Barnes & Noble, Mimi’s, Chipotle and World Market, among other tenants, the Gateway Courtyard Shopping Center is one of Fairfield’s premiere “lifestyle” shopping centers. Developed in partnership with the former Fairfield Redevelopment Agency, Gateway Courtyard brought new regional and national tenants to the Fairfield marketplace.
Unfortunately, the Great Recession saw several merchants retrench, which affected the center.
One of the anchor tenants, Linens ‘n Things, closed all of its retail storefronts in 2008, including the Fairfield store. The Fairfield store once occupied more than 32,000 square feet and served as an anchor to attract shoppers to other tenants. Although the former Linens space is not yet occupied, rumor has it that there are letters of intent floating around from tenants interested in the space. Over time, we expect the shopping center will fully rebound.
This week, we focus on two business that share our belief.
Just as we are coming into spring, Cold Stone Creamery is once again open and has a new franchisee. After some remodeling, new owner Raj Singh reopened this month. Economic Notes spoke with Singh about the business:
Q: Tell us about yourself and why you chose to operate a Cold Stone Creamery franchise.
A: I have been with Cold Stone Creamery for about nine years and I love this concept because we make our ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt fresh in our store. We have limitless combinations that we can customize for our guests and we strive to provide good customer service. Cold Stone Creamery is always coming up with new and inventive products. Our launch of the Hot Stone line last year with Chocolate Lava Meltdown, Churro Caramel Crave and No Fair Funnel Cake was a big hit. I also like to get creative with our ice cream cakes, cupcakes and cookie sandwiches.
Q: Any changes at the shop that we can expect?
A: We made several changes to the local shop. Having the location closed gave us the opportunity to go in and do some renovation that we may not have been able to do otherwise. We want to provide a nice, comfortable environment for families and friends to come in and enjoy themselves.
Q: What is your favorite ice cream treat at Cold Stone?
A: It’s hard to pick one favorite ice cream treat. Some of our more popular flavors are cake batter, sweet cream, coffee and chocolate. Our birthday cake remix signature, which comes with cake batter ice cream, brownies, rainbow sprinkles and fudge and our Germanchokolatekake (try pronouncing that one) signature, which comes with chocolate ice cream, caramel, pecans, coconut and brownies, are two of our more popular signatures. I truly enjoy our sorbet flavors, which are nondairy and nonfat and are perfect for a quick treat.
Q: How many employees do you have? Do they sing for the customers?
A: We have been truly fortunate to get a really great group of about 12 team members from the local community. Our goal is to provide the ultimate ice cream experience with a little bit of entertainment and a lot of good customer service. We do sing some of the Cold Stone original songs, and we have also come up with some new ones as well.
Q: What are your hours of operation?
A: We are open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and we are open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. As the weather gets warmer, we will be open even later. I want there to be an option for people who want a nice treat after getting out of a late movie or a late dinner. Cold Stone Creamery is located at 1586 C-9 Gateway Blvd., next to Chipotle.
A few storefronts away from Cold Stone Creamery, the longtime vacant 8,034-square-foot retail space originally occupied by Gateway Computers and most recently by Thomasville Furniture has a new tenant: Sit, Sleep, and Relax. The company sells furniture and high-quality mattresses and also operates a Vacaville store.
Furniture sales are a challenging market, but with the slow but steady improvement in the local housing market, now may be the time for a business focusing on furnishing the new homes coming onto the market.
Economic Notes would like to welcome Sit, Sleep and Relax to Fairfield and welcome back Cold Stone Creamery.
Economic Notes is an update from Fairfield City Hall written by Brian Miller and Karl Dumas of the Fairfield Planning and Development Department. They can be contacted at 428-7461 or email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.