RICKY’S CANDY: Message from Donald William Cheng

Donald William Cheng has taken over the role of President of the once-promising & now-troubled Ricky’s Candy Cones and Chaos franchise chain.  Cheng, a real estate broker, left a series of messages (see below) on UnhappyFranchisee.com for his few remaining franchisees and former franchisees (some of whom are suing the franchisor).  In his messages, Cheng announced that founder Rick Barber is no longer involved with day-to-day operations, that he’s temporarily halted franchise sales and has hired a General Counsel to help resolve disputes.

The announcement is a sharp contrast to what was stated in a grammatically challenged press release posted just last month.  In the release, posted on Bison.com, stated Cheng was embarking on a new franchising initiative for the franchised retail candy chain.

Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos press release June 7, 2009:

Rickys Candy Cones and Chaos, the premiere Franchise for bulk candy and Ice Cream has brung on a new president.  Donald William Cheng will be taking the helm of this new and fast growing franchise and moving operations headquarters to New York City.

A new Franchise growth plan as well as a new focus on helping current franchisees will be implemented by Mr. Cheng.  Mr. Cheng is an experienced real estate developer and well known in the retail real estate world and has advised numerous Franchises including Nathan’s Famous, Shiseido, Chock Full of Nuts and was owner of the Shake-a-Paw puppy franchise in New Jersey.

The company is looking to start Franchising in New York City and has selected several locations including Times Square, Port Auhthority Bus Terminal, and other high traffic locations.

Donald William Cheng messages Sunday, July 19th, 2009 on UnhappyFranchisee.com:

Submitted on 2009/07/19 at 6:59am

Rickys Candy Cones and Chaos, including the Princeton Store is now run by Mr. Cheng. Mr. Cheng is an experienced corporate turnaround strategist and experienced in finance, marketing, real estate, and food service. Mr. Cheng came on board in May of 2009 and was appointed by the Board of the holding company to turn the Princeton Store around financially and the Franchise firm. Mr. Cheng’s former and current clients include Nathan’s Famous and large multinationals.

As current operating President, Mr. Cheng regrets to say that there are best of times and there are the worst of times. The current economy has impacted the fortunes of million of lives and the the Rickys chain has not fared well.

However, going going forward, the Ice cream, candy and food service business is still a stable business and I hope to make changes to the firm which will enable the future success of existing stores.

My background in construction and coupled with my mass media and food service skills will enable a faster and less expensive building out while providing a better investment for future franchisees.

In Regards to any questions about Rick Barber, he is out of the picture on day to day operating procedures.

In Regards to current litigation, a chief counsel is being brought on board to handle the complaints in a fair and equitable manner.

*  *  *  *  *

In Regards to the existing stores, we would like to reach out to the existing stores to come forward and talk about issues which may be of mutual benefit. However, I have been unable to get through to the franchisees and the owners are red bank, summit, and Oceanside.

We are planning some regional advertising on TV and would like to get the cooperation of the other existing stores.

*  *  *  *  *

Rickys Candy Cones and Chaos will not be selling any more franchises until current issues , problems and litigation with the holding company and Princeton stores and existing stores are resolved. We will continue to honor current franchise agreements in place. Many apologies to those that have suffered losses .


Donald William Cheng

This message from Donald William Cheng left the same day on Franchise Pick:

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

Relevant Links:

Donald William Cheng – LinkedIn profile

Donald William Cheng bio

Shake-A-Paw trademark dispute

Shake-A-Paw franchise puppymill controversy prior to closing

RICKY’S CANDY, Cones & Chaos Franchise Update

Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos Franchise


18 thoughts on “RICKY’S CANDY: Message from Donald William Cheng

  • July 19, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Mr. Cheng,

    I can tell you, on behalf of all of the ex-franchisees who have lost thousands of dollars investing and running a Ricky’s Candy, Cones and Chaos store, we are aware that you have worked in collaboration with Rick Barber and his associates of the corporation and had no sympathy for us then and now during our lawsuit against this franchise. You plan to advertise on national TV? Well, so do we.

    When I lost my store, the economy had no impact on sales. We were not given the facts prior to signing in 2005 regarding an accurate sales profit for this franchise. Otherwise we would be vacationing in the Bahamas and enjoying life!

    So, if you wish to post your comments regarding how wonderful it would be to open up a Ricky’s Candy, Cones, and Chaos store, then face reality and tell prospective franchisees the truth. As far as we can see, you are following in Rick Barber’s footsteps in lying to the public. It seems as though Rick Barber swindled you too. Good luck!

  • July 19, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Mr. Cheng,

    I am sitting here very angry about all of your comments and I can spend the rest of the evening responding, but I have lost enough precious time with m y family over a franchisor who has put us in a very bad place at this time in our lives.

    The truth will come out in court and we will prove that the down fall of Ricky’s Candy Cones & Chaos had absolutely nothing to do with the current economy. These stores never had a chance. Just look at the list above and if anyone wants the dates they closed just ask and we will give them to you. The problems were from day one and the economy were booming back then. Why did Charles Alario, Colts Neck, New Jersey get rid of two stores when he were a partner? Does that make sense at all to anyone out there?

  • July 19, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    RICK BARBER is a career criminal. He has stolen lied and cause many families to be financially ruined. The franchise is crap. Great concept but the guy who ran it and lied cheated and stole should be locked up for his criminal behavior. Let me say it again….Rick Barber is a criminal. He should personally responsible for his actions and locked up.

  • July 20, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Mr. Cheng:

    Thank you for taking the time to post comments here. Thank you for apologizing to those who have suffered losses, for promising to resolve the issues in a fair and equitable manner and promising to fix the problems.

    Ricky’s franchise owners have been through a lot, so your motives, sincerity and ability will certainly be eyed with skepticism. A few questions come to mind:

    1) Your press release says “Donald William Cheng will be taking the helm of this new and fast growing franchise…” In what way do you consider Ricky’s a fast growing franchise? Do you consider this a truthful statement?

    2) The release states “A new Franchise growth plan as well as a new focus on helping current franchisees will be implemented by Mr. Cheng.” Can you share the details of this growth plan and initiatives to help existing franchise owners?

    3) Your bio says that you are a “corporate turnaround specialist” and owner of the Shake-A-Paw franchise co. in NJ. Can you share a turnaround success story? Didn’t Shake-A-Paw lose its trademark dispute and didn’t it close down in scandal & under allegations of selling sick dogs from puppy mills? Was that a turnaround situation like Ricky’s?

    3) You state “We are planning some regional advertising on TV and would like to get the cooperation of the other existing stores.” By cooperation do you mean financial contribution? Will corporate be paying for this advertising as a goodwill gesture?

    4) You write “we would like to reach out to the existing stores to come forward and talk about issues which may be of mutual benefit. However, I have been unable to get through to the franchisees and the owners are red bank, summit, and Oceanside.”

    How can a new president be “unable to get through” to his own franchisees? Could you explain what efforts you have made? According to Mapquest, Summit is a 36 minute drive from your office. Oceanside is just 49 minutes, and Red Bank just over an hour. Did you consider getting in the car and meeting with them personally?

    5) Do you have any plans to market the flawed Ricky’s franchise concept overseas?

  • July 20, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Seems like the cat got your tongue, Mr. Cheng, how about you Rick and Charles the cat got your tongues too?

  • July 20, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Below is a list of creditors from the Princeton store Ch 11. The total liability here was about $220,000. The judge in the case had 2 options convert to Ch 7 or dismiss. The judge decided to dismiss since the landlord was already seeking eviction and there really was no value as a going concern. Dismissal simply means that everything returns to the state prior to Rick Barber seeking protection. The company is fair game for these creditors to pursue their unpaid bills.

    I have been in contact with 5 of firms listed and none of the 5 have received any payments or indications of payments. It may be possible to force a CH 7 liquidation but the landlord Nassau Tower Reality (rent) and the State of NJ (failure to pay sales tax) would end up calling the shots.

    Benajmin Ross Group, LLC
    c/o James Pearl, Esq.
    Two Greentree Centre Suite 126
    Marlton, NJ 08053

    Best Brands 20W.33rdSt.
    New York, NY 10001

    D&G Industries
    149-151 Westchester Ave. Suite 32
    Port Chester, NY 10573

    Greyson, Greyson & Cohen 1288 Route 73 S.
    Suite 301
    Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

    PO Box 790 Cranford, NJ 07016

    LJ Zucca
    760 S. Delsea Drive PO Box 1447 Vineland, NJ 08362

    Melissa & Doug, LLC PO Box 590 Westport, CT 06881

    Nassau Towers Realty
    619 Alexander Rd.
    Princeton, NJ 08540

    Pepper Hamilton, LLP
    3000 Two Logan Square 18th and Arch Streets
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    Shoppers Critique
    1969 Corporate Sq.
    Longwood, FL 3275G

    Squire Boone Village 3455 Route 66
    PO Box 727
    Neptune, NJ 07753

    State of New Jersey Di vision of Revenue
    PO Box 269
    Trenton, NJ 08666

    Verve Candy
    305 Dudley St. Providence, RI 02907

    Waste Management 2421 West Peoria Ave. Suite 210
    Phoenix, AZ 85029

  • July 20, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Donald, you simply restating and and rehashing the past 4 years of Rick Barber and Charles Alario recordings. Unfortunately, there has never been 1 cent of profit from the operation of a Ricky’s Candy Cones and Chaos store.

    Even in the best of times the Princeton store was losing over $100,000 per year in 2005 and 2006. See pages 58 and 59. in the attached link.


    The strange part is what are you and Rick still fighting for??? There is no brand equity here with all the closed/under financed stores, litigation, and more bad press every day.

  • July 21, 2009 at 1:46 am

    Mr. Cheng, in Franchise Pick you wrote the following statement…..
    “The Princeton Store is undergoing a restructuring and is out of bankruptcy”.

    Please consult with your legal counsel prior to writing such inaccurate statements for all of public to see. The Princeton Store’s bankruptcy case was thrown out of court. The judge strip Rick Barber of the bankruptcy protection it had provided him since his filing back in December 2008. By you writing “is out of bankruptcy”, you are following the footsteps of Mr. Barber and Mr. Alario in their scheme to deceive. Your intention is to let unsuspecting people believe that Rick Barber has made whole on all his debt to his long list of creditors when in fact no such thing has occurred.

  • July 21, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I am sure all of the store owners at one time or another received phone calls at their stores from vendors looking for Rick Barber. They would call the stores because Rick Barber did not even have the decency of guts to tell them the t ruth. The truth being that he had no money to pay the bill that particular month because his CORPORATE store in Princeton was not making money.

  • July 22, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Mr. Cheng,

    What does the current economy have to do with paying your Sales Tax to the State? Just in case you don’t know Sales Tax is received when a customer makes a purchase. That money was already paid to the owners of the store so it has absolutely nothing to do with the ecomonomy. What did the owner of the store in Pricneton who is none other than, guess who RICHARD C. BARBER

  • July 22, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    I don’t know how Rick Barber or Charles Alario sleep at night. Rick Barber could tell me it’s raining outside and I walk outside and get wet and I still wouldn’t believe him. Most stores were paying (attempting to pay) $10,000 to $15,000 per month rent. Ah, hello! Doing $5,000 to $6,000 per week means that 2 to 3 weeks each month were going towards rent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shame on you. I’d like to sick Arnold Diaz from Channel 2 on you, you thief.

  • July 22, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Heard he got married again. Just proves that there’s a sucker born every minute. Let’s see, in a few short months that will be ex-wife #3……nice.

  • July 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    overwhelmed, Mr. Cheng?

  • August 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Mr. Cheng,

    Were you ever able to get in touch with your franchisees that are still operating? We are wondering if you were able to lend them some support or even maybe help them out with your expertise that you claim you have in your previous e-mails. In your e-mails you sound like a really smart business man, Why don;t you try and help them before they go OUT OF BUSINESS! Feel free to respond. I am sure we would love to hear your answer or do you have to wait for Richard C. Baber to get back from his third honeymoon.

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  • March 30, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Mr. Cheng,

    You a poop. And every as well. Candy is a great progressive society for. But we must believe Dickens and worst of tymes now and so. Please, it is time to become true and approach. CANDY CANDY CNADY. Franchisees everywhere need this to become a turnaround with profits and lots of monies. YES, .. no. Please. We are stopping to believe you because you seem to have some kind of. With RICK BARBER. This is not okay not now not ever not a day ago. I just farted.

    HELp mE, if you dare if you can if you are DONALD FiTzgerALD CHEng and I no you R. Remember what Emile Cioran said:

    Chaos is rejecting all you have learned. Chaos is being yourself.

    And so I depart now and that is all I have to say to you Mr. WILLIAM DONALD

    great business model

    such a concept, yes


    Forever YOURS,


    …… aka

    Rick Barber.

  • September 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I am president of uncle Louie g ices an ice-cream I received a few calls from some stores that were still open about supplying our products to help them well let me just say you need more then ice cream to make it if anyone needs advice or help at no charge please give me a call you do not have to lose your money or store 917 364 7565

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