Small Business Q&A: Bruster's and Nathan's
This family-owned and operated franchise serves up summertime favorites and part-time jobs in the Northeast Cobb area.
July is national ice cream and hot dog month. According to Blum's Almanac, President Ronald Reagan pronounced July ice cream month in 1984, and hot dogs have enjoyed top honors in July since 1957, when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce created the official national designation.
"We'll sell out in about an hour," Waheed Rahman, Bruster's franchise owner, manager predicted. "Then we'll get to watch the fireworks."
Rahman is a naturalized U.S. citizen who migrated from Pakistan in 1986 to attend the University of Houston, where he earned a degree in finance.
In 1990, Rahman and his growing family moved to the Northeast Cobb area. Rahman's wife, Reshman, is responsible for the family getting into the ice cream business. Two of the couple's three children are working at the business this summer.
The Northeast Cobb store, located at 4724 Lower Roswell Rd., commits half of the 1,500 square feet of space to ice cream production, all seating is outside. Two full-time and 11 part-time workers serve up fresh treats twelve hours a day, seven days a week.
Bruster's offers dollars off rewards to customers paying with LevelUp, a phone app that links a credit or debit card to a personalized data matrix code and allows a consumer to pay by scanning the code displayed on their phone instead of handing a credit card to a clerk. The service does not charge processing fees to retailers.
Q. What's the best thing about your job?
A. I get to eat all the ice cream flavors. And, it's a friendly job, most all of my employees are teenagers. It's fun to be around them, they are so smart with the new technologies.
Q. What is the best thing about Northeast Cobb?
A. There are more kids in East Cobb than Sandy Springs. I had a Bruster's in Sandy Springs, but I closed it.
Q. Why did you choose to open your business in Northeast Cobb?
A. I live five minutes from here. My wife, Reshman, started this business so that my oldest son, Ahmed, would have a place to work. Ahmed is autistic and is the first student to graduate high school from the special ed program in Cobb and enroll in college. He graduated from Sprayberry in 2009 and is attending KSU.
Q. Why did you pick this kind of business?
A. My wife did all the research. She looked for an environment where my son, Ahmed, would be able to work. He was like a superstar here. And now he quit us and is working at Whitewater.
Q. What are some of the services you offer that people may not know about?
A. We have Nathan's hot dogs. We cater, have kegs that we can put ice cream in and it stays frozen until you are ready to serve it at your party.
Q. When did you start your business?
A. March 2003.
Q. Do you have advice for anyone who'd like to start a small business in this area?
A. It's tough out there. Don't trust your franchiser, do your own research. Bruster's has a good program for marketing. If you utilize everything they offer, you will do great.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?
A. Nathan's hot dogs are all beef and skinless. We're the only franchise around that does hot dogs.
Waheed Rahman, owner/manager
4724 Lower Roswell Rd, Suite 100