ALL POSTSIce Cream Etc.Retail franchiseRicky's Candy



This post was originally published in July, 2009 on Franchise Pick, and was updated November 11, 2009.

Franchisee reports that one of the more colorful franchise concepts of recent years, Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos, may have been more aptly named Ricky’s Chaos, Lawsuits & Bankruptcy.

We’ve been following and documenting the unfortunate decline of this once-promising concept in a series of posts, supplemented with commentary from Ricky’s franchise owners, ex-franchise owners, employees and corporate executives.  Read them here:

RICKY’S CANDY: Message from Donald William Cheng

RICKY’S CANDY, CONES & CHAOS: Summit, NJ Store to Close

RICKY’S: Princeton, NJ Store Eviction Notice

RICKY’S CANDY: Why’d the Princeton Store Close?

The website of the Willy Wonka-esque concept, started by former FAO Schwartz exec Rick Barber, articulates the dream: Ricky’s Candy, Cones and Chaos® is the ultimate ice cream and candy experience for customers—and a franchise opportunity for you!

It includes thousands of bulk candy choices; a delicious super-premium ice cream you make in the store; candy novelties and other great gifts; and a color-filled party room terrific for kids’ birthdays.

These three business centers—candy, cones and ‘chaos’—provide an all-season business opportunity for the dedicated franchisee.

A July 9, 2009 post we made stated that of the 18 locations that had been listed on the company website in recent years, only 5 remain in operation as Ricky’s stores.  In fact, 2 of the locations currently listed as open on the corporate site were, in fact, closed.

As of November, 2009, only two of the 18 stores remain open:  Red Bank, NJ & Staten Island, N.Y.

Additional woes for the sweet concept gone sour include a group action lawsuit filed by franchisees last year, and a franchisor bankruptcy filing that was allegedly rejected.

Comments to the original post:

July 19, 2009 at 7:16 am Donald William Cheng wrote:

Rickys Candy Cones and Chaos is now run by Mr. Donald William Cheng as of May, 2009. The Princeton store is undergoing a restructuring and is out of bankruptcy. New changes are being effected to combat the changes in the business environment. The current economy has impacted the retail sector much more heavily than others.

The Ricky’s candy, cones and chaos model was heavily dependent on a robust economy where parents splurge on their children and friends. However, as the economy worsened, more people became budget conscious and retailers have to react by providing better value and Rickys did not adjust fast enough.

New management and marketing have been brought in to ensure that future partners and franchisees will be able to sustain a dip in the economy by providing long term financing and stronger financial management and brand management

October 29, 2009 at 11:54 am  Former Store Owner says:

Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos will be closing its doors in November due to a raise in rent after seven years on Springfield Avenue.

“We just can’t afford to stay here,” said Donna Dill, the manager of the store.

Dill said that business has been slow for a while, and at the time of the interview no other patrons were shopping in the store.

Dill mentioned that the economy could be a reason why many stores in the Summit area are closing up shop or moving to different locations.

“The economy’s not that great,” she said. “I see so many vacancy signs, it makes me sad.”

Ricky’s will be closing by the end of next month, although there is not a specific date at this time.

At the last count by Summit Downtown Inc. in August, there were about 20 vacant storefronts, Tony Melchionna said. At that time it was the most he said he’d ever seen in downtown Summit.


Photo: Taken May 12, 2006 by roboppy , license: Creative Commons location: Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos store, Ridgewood, NJ (closed)


  • Guest

    The above comments were made by a store manager and not an owner. The truth here is that the Summit location is finally closing it’s doors for good . The location in Summit, New Jersey was originally owned by Charles Alario who is partner to Richard C. Barber. The two of them own the Ricky;s franchise. The Summit store was sold twice. The present owner is the third and hopefully final owner. That location did not close because of the economy regardless of what they are saying about other stores in the area closing. Even when the economy was booming when that store first opened Charles Alario sold it because it was not making money.

  • Could you tell me if that business deal was brokered through Benjamin Ross Group because i had a deal brokered through them which went very bad and was curious to find out what happened with yours.
    I seen on the internet that rickys and BRG had a suit going.
    Please contact me would love to talk about it.

  • Benjamin Ross may have been involved with the first sale of the Summit store, but they were not involved with the second sales of the store.

    On the Ricky’s Ch 7 Front….. I am happy to see that the Trustee is willing to dig a little deeper into the company finances.

  • @■mike on April 2nd, 2010 11:39 am
    Would love to talk about your experience with Benjamin Ross Group . Have a deal with them which is turning very sour

  • A Y O-
    E mail me [redacted]
    about the benjamin ross group.

    we can talk

    [We don’t allow posting of personal info. However, we will forward contact info if both parties email permission to unhappyfranchisee[at] – ADMIN]

  • DP,
    I have emailed permission to unhappyfranchisee[at]

  • Calvin Raimi

    I am currently considering the purchase of a business from the Benjamin Ross Group. Are any ex-clients / purchasers willing to speak with me about their experiences? I recently met with a buyer who was very disappointed as they felt the performance of the business was grossly mis-represented, bordering on fraud. Is this common?

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