Marble Slab vs. Cold Stone: Who Was First?
Despite Cold Stone Creamery's recent explosive growth, Marble Slab
Creamery was founded first and could have been the inspiration for
Cold Stone. Marble Slab was founded 5 years earlier in Texas, not
far from the Arizona home of the original Cold Stone from 1988.
Today Cold Stone has more than 1000 stores, compared to the 541 Marble
Slabs. Indeed, locally Cold Stone Creamery locations are densely
packed. It was only recently that I went to my first Marble Slab,
which is more distant. The selection of ice cream was wider at marble
Slab, as well as the cone choices. Still, I couldn't help but wonder,
"isn't this just a Cold Stone clone?". It turns out that the reverse
is more likely, that Cold Stone came well after Marble Slab was well
Marble Slab Creamery's history lists October 1983 as the first opening of Marble Slab
Creamery in Houston, Texas. It wasn't until 5 years later, in 1988,
that the first Cold Stone opened in Tempe Arizona, according to the historical information on the Cold Stone site.