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

We received the following sad message via email from Liliana Carvalho, the owner of the Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos franchise location in Summit, NJ:

Ricky’s Candy,Cones and Chaos of Summit will be closing its doors forever after Nov 15th.

I am the current owner Liliana Carvalho and within the last 20 months have lost over $400k in this Franchise.

It is sadly coming to an end, since I cannot any longer afford to continue to pour money into a failed business concept, which was sold to me as a Sweet profitable Candy and Ice Cream Franchise, early 2008 by Rick Barber ( Franchise owner) and by Mike Kapp (former owner of the Ricky’s Summit location).

I would like to thank all my clients for their patronage during the last 20 months. Wishing them and their families the best and hopefully our  paths will cross again in the near future.

Thank you,

Liliana Carvalho

According to a May, 2004 press release posted on the Ricky’s website,

As a retail chain, Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos is a new version of the “Old Time Candy and Ice Cream Store” with scheduled openings starting in May 2004. With three concurrent store openings starting with Summit NJ ; Princeton NJ ; and Rockefeller Center , NYC, Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos is focusing its future growth on upscale suburban downtowns where retail activity is on the rise.


21 thoughts on “RICKY’S CANDY, CONES & CHAOS: Summit, NJ Store to Close

  • Former Owner

    Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos Princeton Flagship Store (Corporate Office) has an eviction notice on their front door.


    If anyone can email a photo of that to unhappyfranchisee[at], I’ll post it.

    Are any stores still open? Which ones?

  • Former Owner

    The remaining stores are Ricky’s in Red Bank, New Jersey which is a re-sale. The original owner sold the Red Bank store and closed the doors to his other store in Ridgewood, New Jersey over two years ago.

    Ricky’s of Staten Island, N.Y. is also still open.

  • guest

    2 stores left… Staten Island and Red Bank

  • guest

    The website still lists Summit, Princeton, West Chester, Marlboro, Broomall, PA, Fredericksburg, VA, & Oceanside, NY as open.

    So much for Cheng’s big talk. What’s the status of the lawsuit? Is there still one?

  • Guest

    Take a look at Rick Barber’s LinkedIn profile when you have a moment. It is good read. Perhaps we can send this website to those who wrote him recommendations.

  • guest

    Rick Barber on LinkedIn:
    ” Ricky’s Franchise Group, Inc.

    Retail industry

    September 2003 – Present (6 years 3 months)

    “Ricky’s Candy, Cones and Chaos, Inc. is a unique shopping experience that creates a “Disney” like experience in a downtown setting. This new retail concept focuses on four streams of revenue, Candy, Ice Cream, Parties and signature Gifts. Ricky’s has grown to include 10 franchise locations and internet sales. Our instore presentation is a feast of sights and sounds with brightly colored stores playing retro videos on flat screens and candy themed music throught the store. In 2007 Ricky’s was ranked 836 in the Inc. Magazine collection of Top 5000 fastest growing private companies in the US. Number 18 in the Food and Beverage catagory [sic]. ”

    Wonder where it’s ranked now?

    ““Rick is a true merchant in every sense of the word. His ability to conceptualize an idea, develop it, and bring the greatest benefit of that opportunity to life has been proven many times over. I’m constantly amazed at the depths of his foresight. I have had the benefit to work with and know Rick for many years and I am still amazed at his gift to visualize opportunities. He leads people through difficult environments and shows them opportunities that no one else notices. He is a mentor and absolutely someone to have leading the team.” November 7, 2008

    Sam Hupp, Board Member over Merchant strategies, Ricky’s Candy, Cones, and Chaos worked directly with Rick at Ricky’s Franchise Group, Inc.”

    ““RE; Rick Barber, Trustworthy,consistent,and reliable,. I know because I saw first hand is abilitiies to drive revenues and raise gross margins for the companies he worked for.. He’s deep in detailed retail knowledge and thats what makes him so powerful… When rick calls ,I drop everything and service him in China, because I can trust him. Sincerely, Pat Argenti.” December 8, 2008

    Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity

    Patrick Argenti hired Rick as a RETAIL GIANT in 1990, and hired Rick more than once”

  • Guest

    Such nice comments for someone who has ruined so many people. “He leads people through difficult times and shows them opportunities that no one else notices”. This did not show through in his role as Chairman of Ricky’s did it?

  • Former Owner

    Does anyone know how to get in touch with Mr. Sam Hupp and Mr. Cheng. Let’s see what they have to say about Richard C. Barber today. Let’s not forget his partner CHARLES ALARIO OF COLTS NECK. I think Charles Alario has bought the rights to open numerous Corner Bakery Cafe franchises in New Jersey. Has anyone seen any of them open yet?

    Mr. Alario is probably too busy spending his days in court fighting all of his lawsuits or spending his money settling them out of court.

    Richard Barber goes to the beach in his spare time to restore his soul. Maybe he should move to a warmer climate so he can cleanse his soul every day of his miserable life. He certainly needs it.

    I wonder if wife #3 figured it all out yet.

  • guest

    Donald William Cheng:

    Sam Hupp:

    Rick Barber:

    Charles Alario: Not much on LinkedIn, but he and his wife Janet provide Christian counseling for those who are having difficulties or despair or for “Anyone who has feelings of despair and hopelessness and lacks confidence or faith and trust in God.” It’s a tax exempt non-profit org.with the same address as Charles CPA Associates. No mention of whether Ricky’s franchisees get a discount off the $100/hr fee.

    “Janet Alario resides in New Jersey with her husband of twenty five years and three grown children, ages 24, 23, &22. Together, they operate LWLMLO Ministries. She holds a Master’s degree in Christian Counsleing from Cornerstone University, is a Licensed Pastoral Counselor specializing in marriage & family as well as children, and is in the process of obtaining a PhD in this field. She writes inspirational, personal-growth books and articles and is the author of a series of children’s books for the nationwide franchise ©Ricky’s Candy, Cones, and Chaos. “

  • Former Owner

    Did any of the former store owners see a book (s) written by Janet Alario, wife of Charles Alario who is a partner of the Ricky’s Candy Cones & Chaos?


  • Guest

    If there are any more unsuspecting individuals that Mr. Barber promised a franchise to and you have paid him a franchise fee, please get in touch with us thru this site.

  • Lola Vira

    Mr Cheng Resigned after working with Rick a few short months.
    Everyone that has values that include integrity and gets to know Rick Barber refuses to deal and work with him. Mr Cheng was not the first employee that resigned due to Rick being too hard headed and very unfair in the way he treats people and only caring about himself …
    Pat Argenti should have made the world a favor and hired Rick again ( Since he has such a NOBLE character!!! What a Joke!!!LMBO when I read that article!!! Nothing could be so far from the truth!!! ) and kept him far…very far away from people interaction to avoid ruining so many lives…..

  • Former Owner

    I am a former owner. There are many of us these days. Rick Barber could never hold on to an employee for a long period of time. He always had a story to tell when one of the store owners questioned him about anything, if you asked him what happened to one of his employees, he would respond by saying that they were were either drug addicts, thieves, sex maniacs, etc. If you asked why you could not order from a certain vendor he would tell stories about them as well. The problem was that they were getting rid of him for not paying his bills. Try to run a franchise when the franchisor does not pay his bills and you cannot get credit because of him.

    According to the Almighty Richard C. Barber all the franchisees were stupid, inexperienced, did not have enough inventory, were not advertising, or they were trying to steal his million dollar concept from him.. He would tell tales to one franchisee about another franchisee. He would do anything in his power to keep the franchisees from talking and comparing notes with each other.

    His two wives that he is divorced from are another whole story. I would love to hear the truth from them one day. You can imagine what he had to say about his old girlfriends, He is a pig and a pathological liar. I remember one time when he told us that his store sold hundreds of frozen bananas, he would say another store was selling all kinds of baskets, another store was doing tons of parties. He would play this game over and over again with diffeent stories to different owners to make them feel like they were not doing a good job. The whole time it was just a pack of lies. None of the stores were selling much of anything and that is a fact since there are only two stores left.

    He has even had numerous lawyers.

    I wonder who he is blaming for the big eviction notice on his Princeton Store. THE LANDLORD.

    Hope you are sleeping well these days, Mr. Barber.

  • Former Owner

    Mr. Cheng, we would love to hear from you.

  • Former Owner

    Ricky’s of Summit,

    We are very sorry to hear that you were forced to close your store. It will take a little time, but trust me when I say, you will feel much better mentally and physically not dealing with the everyday stress of a store with a failing concept. If you ever need any advise you can call any one of us former owners.

  • Guest

    The article hitting the internet from the Trenton Times regarding Ricky’s Princeton was quite a surprise. Many Mom and Pop retailers are shutting down each, but the story here is just so twisted. How did Rick and Charlie even get as far as they did with this sham. The Princeton store was bleeding out $100,000 in losses as this this guy was selling franchises. There really need to be some legislation to protect people from phony claims. Maybe a company has to be in business 3 + years before they can franchise. After looking over many of the other companies to grace these pages, it is becoming clear that franchising early stage concepts is about as close to legalized fraud that you can get.

    The one flaw of the article is the idea that the economic conditions were a factor in the fall of Ricky’s. NO, IT WAS NOT…… Court documents from the Ch 11 attempt clearly showed that even when the economy was roaring and Toll Brothers couldn’t build a McMansion fast enough Ricky’s was not making any money and the only income supporting the shell was the franchise fees and royalties paid by people who thought they were buying into a successful business model. The house of cards began to crumble once the store owners began to communicate directly and the fact checking began.


    Here’s a story linking to and responding to the Trenton story. Please share your comments on this story.

    The story states that the Princeton store’s rent was more than $175,000 and required a deposit of $75,000. It was raised to $188,000 per year.

    Could a 3000 sf candy store in Princeton ever sell enough candy to be profitable with that rent, or was this just a PR & franchise sales showcase used to sell the story and harvest franchise fees?

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  • Guest

    During the early months we were told that there’s some “gossip” going on among the franchisees and that it’s in our best interest not to get involved. We were told that the only way we can succeed in this franchise is to stick with Rick. When we heard this, we didn’t know what to think. What we should have done was run as far away from this as we could! It’s so painful thinking back that it hurts to even laugh.

    Rick Barber spent many countless hours at our store telling us one fabricated story after another. We often wondered what world he is living in and soon realized it’s “the World According to Rick”. In this world, everything and everyone else is to blame but him. It seemed harmless in the beginning. He would ask us to tack his orders onto ours with the explanation that he missed the cutoff. He promised to pay when the products arrive. These requests started to come in more frequently through time. It also involved more and more vendors. We became suspicious of his explanation and questioned him. He begrudgingly told us that vendors are forcing him to buy in larger volumes because the other franchisees aren’t ordering. Since we maintain good relationships with all the vendors, we decided to ask them. Each vendor consistently informed us that they cannot send products to Rick because of too many unpaid invoices.

    As the economy started to weaken, we went to Rick for help. THE MAN DID NOTHING. Instead, he would come up with these grand ideas, all untested of course, that would cost us a great deal of upfront money. Everyone around us helped in anyway they could, this included vendors, landlords, fellow franchisees and neighboring businesses. Rick continued to demand his weekly royalities and took it religiously. He would come into the store and rip us apart for the decrease in sales and made us take things off our shelves that were actually selling.

    All current and former owners did not know one another prior to joining this franchise yet we all have the same justifiable reasons and concrete examples indicating that this whole thing is a scam. If anyone in the legal field is following this, please reach out to us with some advice or direction. Rick Barber ruined too many families and he needs to be stopped.

  • Sad b/c Ricky’s of Red Bank just closed it’s doors for good last week. Owner said it was b/c he wanted to spend more time w/ his family, but he looked soooooo stressed out the last month the store was open. I wish him and his family the best. It’s sad to see them go.

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