RICHLAND — If you have trouble choosing from among 31 flavors at Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors, try choosing from 44.
That's the number the Tri-Cities' newest Baskin-Robbins outlet will be carrying when it opens this month.
Owner Rand Akins can't give a firm opening date yet. That depends on whether the store passes all building and health department inspections next week. If not, that will keep the front door to his newest Baskin-Robbins, at 140 Gage Blvd., Richland, closed for another week.
Akins also owns Baskin-Robbins stores in Kennewick on Clearwater Avenue, the one on Stevens Drive in Richland and a booth at the Toyota Center.
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"Having this Baskin-Robbins so close to the coliseum will be really handy for me," he said. "It'll be easy to stock the booth."
Akins said his new store will stock 44 flavors, 13 more than the famous Baskin-Robbins slogan promises.
"We're 31-plus," he said. "There's a new one out called Gingerbread Man that sounds good. It's light, lower in both calories and fat."
Akins said the ice cream flavors always are changing at Baskin-Robbins.
"The company's created over500 flavors," he said.
Some, like Winter White Chocolate, are seasonal. Others, like Shrek Swirl, which celebrates the animated movie Shrek, are created for a specific event.
"I'm really excited to get this store open. There have been a lot of delays," Akins said. "I'm glad this site worked out. It's right between the other two, which makes it nice for people in between. They won't have to drive as far."
"It's a really pretty store," he said. "Baskin-Robbins has updated the design of the interior a bit and changed the ice cream cabinets. Now the cabinets dip down in front so kids can see inside. We're the first in the Northwest to have them."
He plans to have one full-time employee and about nine part-time employees.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.