Samantha Maziarz Christmann reports in The Buffalo News that Tim Hortons a  major player in the coffee and doughnut wars has added ice cream into the mix.

Tim Hortons has begun rolling out Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shops incorporated into existing Western New York locations.

The restaurants share side-by- side counter space and integrated kitchen operations, with franchisees taking on the additional store-within-a-store operations after training at one an-other’s restaurants.

Tim Hortons recently finished adding Cold Stone Creamerys to 10 Tim Hortons locations in Albion, Batavia, Dunkirk, Hamburg, Lakewood, Lockport, Olean and Springville. Five more co-branded stores are planned for Cheektowaga, Lewiston, Niagara Falls and Williamsville.

So what makes doughnuts and ice cream a bankable combination? After all, Dunkin’ Brands has long paired Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins franchises.

According to executives, Tim Hortons typically does its highest sales during the morning hours, while Cold Stone Creamery tends to do more business in the evening. As much as Tim Hortons tried to shore up its later business by offering lunch and dinner fare such as soups and sandwiches, combining the two is an attempt at securing a more steady traffic flow.

“It made sense operationally . . . It’s a great match,” said David Clanachan, chief operations officer at Tim Hortons.

The co-branding is part of an ongoing test by the two major chains. It started with successful runs at two existing Tim Hortons locations in the Rhode Island market and expanded into Western New York, Connecticut, Ohio, Maine and Michigan.

A total of 100 U. S. locations are planned—50 for each chain — along with another six in Canada. To date, almost half have been completed.

Franchise locations were chosen after the companies conducted market research into customer demographics, the quality of the franchise owner, customer preferences and what the market could bear. Tim Hortons owners were then trained at Cold Stone Creamery locations.

Tim Hortons has more than 3,500 locations in Canada and the United States, roughly 200 of them in Western New York. In October, Tops Friendly Markets announced a deal to put Tim Hortons restaurants and kiosks in all its grocery stores.

Cold Stone Creamery will have 14 Western New York locations once the incorporation with Tim Hortons is complete. The company is known for its ice cream, which is hand mixed to order on a frozen granite stone.

The Buffalo News