By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer– Doloris Coit is retiring and, as a parting gift to Ridgecrest, she made sure to keep the ownership of Baskin Robbins and Charleys Cheesesteaks local. After fielding offers from conglomerations from Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Palmdale and Victorville she is pleased to sell to Monica and Dakota Andekin who also own Pro Construction and lead Ridgecrest Vineyard Church and the Refuge.
“I wanted to sell to someone local because I wanted the local traditions which we’ve had in this store to continue,” says Coit. Not only do the businesses support local fundraising efforts, “Every year for back-to-school every child in the entire valley receives a scoop of ice cream from Baskin Robbins, free of charge. No one pays; I pay for it out of my pocket.” Teachers, school staff and PTA members scoop the ice cream. “Close to 4000 scoops of ice cream are distributed on back-to-school night.” Coit started this 12 years ago and the Andekins have agreed to continue this tradition.
The decision to purchase the businesses offered the Andekins an opportunity for diversity. Dakota tells us, “It made sense for our lives. The values that the Lord has held with supporting the community by creating job opportunities in our community is something that is important to us.”
“I take very seriously the legacy that she’s leaving for this town,” says Monica, who worked at Baskin Robbins as a teen. Keeping community involvement is very important to her. Referring to the photo, she says, “The way that we pass the cone is like she’s passing her legacy. The cone represents all her years of work that she entrusted us with. We don’t take it lightly.”
“We both became Certified Managers at Baskin Robbins School,” explains Dakota. “The Baskin Robbins process is very thorough. There was the school that we went through for a few weeks, partially online and partially at a store in Victorville. You learn a lot about the history of the franchise and the requirements to be a franchisee and operate the store. We learned to make cakes and went to Scoop School, as they call it, so we learned how to measure the ice cream. They’ve been very helpful for us to be able to learn the things that we need to know in order to to do well with ownership.”
Twenty-five years ago when Coit purchased Baskin Robbins, she went to Burbank for an entire month to attend the school. Over the years there have been behind the scene changes to Baskin Robbins. Originally, Baskin Robbins made all of the ice cream but now the ice cream comes from Dairy Farmers of America; however, the recipes remain the same.
What is next for Coit? She plans to visit her grandchildren in Idaho and Florida.