Friday, June 2, 2023

Baskin-Robbins In Merchants Square Celebrates 50 Years

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WILLIAMSBURG – After visiting Williamsburg, many people bring home a small souvenir as a memento of their trip. Gina and Ralph Youngs decided to purchase an ice cream store on one of their visits in the late 1990s.

That store, the Baskin-Robbins on Prince George Street in Merchants Square, celebrated its 50th anniversary in February at the same time the husband-and-wife team were marking their 25th year as the store’s owners.

“It has exceeded our wildest dreams,” Ralph Youngs said. “It’s been fantastic.”

The two had been practicing attorneys in Chicago for about six or seven years and made frequent trips to the Historic Triangle. His grandparents were here, as were a number of cousins. On one of those trips, they noticed the store was for sale. Their research showed it was successful, so they decided to purchase it. (Gina Youngs does have a business degree from Indiana University.) That was in 1998.

“We love Williamsburg. We love the community. We love the area,” he said.

He credits the Baskin-Robbins corporation and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (the landlords) for their success.

“They’ve always been good partners, and wanted us to succeed,” he said.

In talking with other Baskin-Robbins owners, that’s a common theme.

“If we do well, they do well,” he said. “That’s a good position to be in.”

When he and his wife, who have been married for 32 years, took ownership of the store, the business landscape was a lot different.

“Everything wasn’t as technologically advanced as it is now,” he said. “We do Door Dash. We do delivery. It’s been a big change for us.”

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