ICE Goes to California and Halo Top Goes Brick and Mortar

Wednesday Wisdom from MRM’s Daily Bite includes news from Institute of Culinary Education, Halo Top Creamery, NCR Corporation and Samsung, Trinity Capital and OCAT, LLC, and JMH Premium.

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 ICE To Open in L.A.

The Institute of Culinary Education will open a second location near downtown Los Angeles, after 42 years in New York City. ICE will bring to Southern California its award-winning education model, which includes a highly developed curriculum, student focus, externship and job placement record, as well as its connection to the local culinary and hospitality industries.


As ICE launches in L.A., the school’s initial focus will be six- to 13-month career diploma programs in Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management. The Hotel & Hospitality Management program will be added later in the year.

“Los Angeles is an ideal next step for ICE, as it has the confluence of food culture, diversity, job opportunities and a nationally recognized, vibrant culinary community that ICE can support and grow just as we have in New York City,” said Rick Smilow, ICE’s president and CEO. “ICE will provide a new option for ambitious and creative students who want to start or change careers, advance in the culinary and hospitality industries or are cost- and time- conscious in their approach to education.”

California has always been a trendsetter when it comes to the culinary arts.

ICE took over a portion of the lease previously occupied by the former Le Cordon Bleu Pasadena location, which is already equipped with the necessary infrastructure to build a culinary school. ICE will update the school to reflect the brand standards of its flagship NYC campus opened in 2015. Renovations will begin in early 2018, and ICE anticipates opening and commencing teaching in the first half of the year. The new school will be located at 521 East Green Street in Pasadena.

“I was thrilled to learn that the Institute of Culinary Education is expanding and opening its second location in Los Angeles,” said Wolfgang Puck, chef and restaurateur. “LA is a hub of culinary innovation, and having a culinary school of ICE’s caliber in this market will only enhance the city’s standing as a major culinary center in the United States.”

Once career program classes are up and running, ICE will build on its platform for inspiration and is considering options to offer specialized amenities and features similar to the NYC campus, such as a chocolate lab, culinary technology lab and an extension of its “farm to classroom” program, and later on, recreational classes and special culinary events.

“I’ve been working with ICE students in New York for years and they are consistently among the best young chefs in my restaurants,” said Tom Colicchio, chef and restaurateur. “I’m very much looking forward to having an institution like ICE produce the same level of talent for my LA and Las Vegas restaurants and to what their next generation of culinary leaders will do for the west coast food scene.”

While an ICE education is grounded in classic French technique, it also offers the opportunity to explore food globally, including the cuisines of Italy, China, Thailand, India and regional America, as well as specialized techniques from artisan bread baking to modernist cooking and more. ICE will work to evolve its globally-inspired curriculum to reflect the local culture, diversity and flavor of L.A. In addition to its highly regarded Culinary Arts and Pastry & Baking Arts programs, ICE will also offer its Restaurant & Culinary Management program, which focuses on owning, operating or managing a food business. This will allow students to “double major” and learn both how to work in and make money from the business of food.

“California has always been a trendsetter when it comes to the culinary arts,” said Panorea Avdis, Director, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “ICE’s new LA campus will ensure future generations of top chefs are pushing the boundaries of our state’s long-established variety of cuisines and locally sourced ingredients, which gives us that added advantage as a global destination for adventure seekers, business travelers and entrepreneurs, alike.”

 Over the years, numerous ICE alumni have won top national awards and become leaders in the field. Prominent alumni include Chefs Mark Murphy and Vivian Howard, Top Chef’s Gail Simmons and Modernist Cuisine co-author Maxime Bilet. Many ICE alumni have launched successful businesses in the Los Angeles area, including: Zoe Nathan (Rustic Canyon), Steve Samson (Sotto and Rossoblu) and Vic Casanova (Gusto).

“At ICE, our mission is to enable the creative light within each individual, empowering them to find rewarding careers in the culinary and hospitality industries,” added Smilow. “We’ve helped more than 14,000 alumni find their culinary and hospitality voices, and are thrilled to be able to bring that mission to the west coast and Los Angeles area.”

Halo Top Creamery Launches First-Ever Shop

On Wednesday, November 15,  Halo Top Creamery, launches its first-ever Halo Top Scoop Shop at Westfield Topanga. In addition to fresh scoops of its low-calorie, low-sugar and high-protein pints, Halo Top invites Angelenos to taste brand new low-calorie soft serve options, including Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, Strawberry, Birthday Cake, Peanut Butter Cup and Pistachio. 

Located on the 2nd Level Dining Terrace at Westfield Topanga, Halo Top’s new Scoop Shop will carry many of its ice cream pint flavors, such as Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon Roll, Pancakes and Waffles, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Red Velvet, Caramel Macchiato and Sea Salt Caramel. These flavors can be spooned into a classic cup or topped on one of four new cones, including cake, sugar, waffle and a special Halo Toppuffle cone. Additionally, guests can load up on specialty toppings, such as marshmallow sauce, fresh mango, mochi and shredded coconut to create a single, double or triple sundae. Halo Top’s new Scoop Shop will also debut a unique selection of ice cream sandwiches made with vegan and high-protein cookies, as well as Halo Top tacos made with crisp waffle cone shells.
“We are so excited to open our first brick-and-mortar Halo Top Scoop Shop, and it’s really a dream come true for us,” explains Founder & CEO, Justin Woolverton. “The only time I ‘cheat’ on Halo Top is when I get frozen yogurt loaded with toppings. Our goal with the Scoop Shop is to let our fans add all the toppings they could possibly want to a soft serve version of Halo Top—which is incredibly delicious and ditches the tanginess of frozen yogurt.”
Halo Top will also launch Halo Top Scoop Shop App—an exclusive loyalty program where guests can sign up to win complimentary ice cream and other prizes.The Halo Top Scoop Shop at Westfield Topanga has an open-air design that calls on a color scheme of gold, purple and white marble to evoke the light, yet decadent experience of Halo Top’s ice cream. A pink neon “Let’s Spoon” sign lights up the shop’s outer wall, and the space is crowned with a large, glowing golden halo that floats over the marble shop.
Halo Top was founded in 2012 by former lawyer turned ice cream aficionado, Justin Woolverton, while he was on a quest to find an all-natural, low-calorie ice cream he could enjoy without the guilt.  
NCR Silver Quantum Released

NCR Corporation, in collaboration with Samsung Electronics America, Inc., launched NCR Silver Quantum™, an all-in-one point-of-sale (POS) commerce station featuring an integrated payment device with mobile wallet acceptance capability, customer display, loyalty scanner and Samsung Galaxy tablet. The NCR Silver Quantum commerce station provides merchants a sleek, efficient system to better manage customer POS transactions and back-office operations.

A 10.1-inch Android™ Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet serves as the employee interface, featuring fast, touchscreen operation for easy management. It is pre-loaded with the NCR Silver Android point-of-sale app, which delivers powerful functionality such as inventory management, marketing support and sales reporting once activated through NCR. Businesses can remotely set up and customize their NCR Silver Quantum device through Samsung Knox Configure, a cloud-based service and IT administration tool offered by Samsung.

Chamblee, Ga.-based Ponko Chicken chose NCR Silver Quantum for its all-in-one functionality, intuitiveness and aesthetic. Co-owner Reiko Clark said the award-winning customer support also played a part in her selection. The family-owned restaurant, which has more locations in the works, offers a unique Japanese and Western spin on a fried chicken tender. Ponko Chicken just re-opened for business after initially closing its first restaurant in 2008, and Clark plans to expand further.

“For the grand re-opening, we wanted sexy, modern-looking technology that matched our restaurant’s aesthetic,” Clark said. “NCR Silver Quantum not only looks stunning on our counter; it has everything in one package. The easy to use point-of-sale app and back office, powerful software and dedicated NCR Silver team were also huge factors in choosing this technology partner to make our expansion dreams a reality.”

The retail industry is undergoing a rapid digital transformation, and the point-of-sale process is one of the most critical areas to address.

NCR Silver Quantum and the NCR Silver family of solutions are designed for small- to medium-sized businesses such as retail shops and restaurants. NCR Silver Quantum is the first full Android-based solution in the NCR Silver lineup. In addition to incorporating a Samsung tablet and Knox Configure, NCR Silver Quantum includes an embedded RP457c mobile card reader provided by Ingenico Group, which enables the commerce station to accept a variety of payment methods, including magstripe, EMV chip and NFC/contactless transactions such as Samsung Pay.

NCR Silver Quantum offers market-leading battery life of up to 10 hours for merchants who want cordless operation, and has a small physical footprint, measuring less than 13 inches in width.

“Whether you run a franchise food and beverage business or a Mom and Pop boutique, NCR Silver Quantum is as sleek as it is sophisticated,” said Chris Poelma, president and general manager of NCR Silver. “The commerce station is durable, payment processor agnostic and provides chip and mobile wallet functionality. It, along with the entire NCR Silver solution set, offers everything businesses need to operate efficiently – today, and ahead.”

Samsung’s enterprise division takes a vertical approach to business markets, and its retail practice delivers innovative in-store solutions that retail organizations can use to connect with customers, secure their operations, and enhance the opportunities presented by digital business.

”The retail industry is undergoing a rapid digital transformation, and the point-of-sale process is one of the most critical areas to address,” said Ted Brodheim, vice president of Vertical Business at Samsung Electronics America. “With this new commerce station, NCR and Samsung are providing retailers with a technology solution that can simplify employee management of transactions and improve customer shopping experiences, while ensuring processes remain in smooth operation.”

NCR Silver Quantum is part of a product lineup for every stage of business, including cloud-based point-of-sale software, e-commerce integration, hardware, NCR Silver ConciergeTM services, U.S.-based 24/7 live customer service, and powerful functionality such as NCR ConsoleTM that offers advanced employee management, inventory management and reporting.

NCR Silver Quantum is now available with the NCR Silver Android POS app and will soon be available with NCR Silver Pro Restaurant Edition Android POS app. It’s offered in a bundle that includes hardware peripherals, services and a suite of cloud-based software subscription offerings. It can also be purchased separately.

Trinity Capital Completes Sale of 57 Taco Bell Restaurants for OCAT, LLC
Trinity Capital, the Los Angeles-based boutique investment firm, completed the sale of 57 Taco Bell restaurants for OCAT, LLC, a Modesto, CA-based, 50-year Taco Bell franchise operator with locations in 23 California cities. According to OCAT, LLC president David Olson, Trinity Capital skillfully navigated the complicated franchisor approval process and successfully oversaw a sale that delivered premium value.
“With their extensive experience in the restaurant industry, Trinity ran a competitive auction, attracting substantial private equity interest for our business. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results,” said David Olson, President of OCAT, LLC.
The OCAT sale is one of numerous financial transactions Trinity Capital managed this year for large franchise groups, representing a mix of QSR and fast casual restaurants, and foodservice products. Each of these transactions created value for the seller and opportunity for the buyer.
‘It was an honor and a pleasure to work with David and OCAT on this complicated yet valuable transaction,” said Kevin Burke, founder and managing partner of Los Angeles-based Trinity Capital.
In an effort to share their knowledge and extensive experience with the franchisee community as they prepare for transactions such as OCAT’s sale, Trinity Capital last year launched an insider’s conference. The second annual insider’s conference, entitled Looking Beyond the Stereotypes – What You Really Need to Know to Attract and Optimize Private Equity or Family Office Investment, is slated for March 8, 2018 at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey, CA. The conference is aimed at C-suite level executives and owners who are looking for broader market knowledge in prepping for and attracting investment for their business.
“This conference will help franchise groups and owners plan ahead for future investment and gain a better understanding of how private equity and family office money can help them grow their business, or create a valuable exit strategy,” added Burke.
JMH Focuses on Custom Flavor
JMH Premium®  launch of a new website in support of its custom flavor solutions service. The elegantly designed site provides customers with a comprehensive look at what this service includes, and what they can expect from a relationship with JMH Premium® and its culinary professionals.
“Our innovative culinary team can transform any idea into reality,” said Chef Charles Hayes, CEC, CRC, VP Of Culinary Innovation, “and generate a straightforward recipe so that kitchens can consistently replicate the intended flavor while maintaining the highest quality standards. Our expertise and commitment to best-in-class service have propelled us to a market leadership position, and our Premium® flavor solutions are a natural extension of that success.”
Increasingly, customers demand unique and memorable flavors, and not just when dining out. Even pre-packaged meals are now expected to tell a great “flavor story.” JMH Premium®’s mission is to create the kind of dynamic flavors that can complement any cuisine. The selection of custom designed products available from JMH Premium® include beverages, desserts, dressings, spice blends, sauces and stocks, and demi-glace and gravy concentrates.JMH Premium®’s manufacturing processes are designed with the most exacting standards in mind, as well as compliance with all applicable regulations.  State-of-the-art manufacturing services include dry blending, wet blending, cooking and pasteurization processes.  Product packaging options range from drums and totes to jars and flexible pouches, among others. JMH Premium® collaborates with customers to address any challenges related to logistics and provides customized shipping solutions across the nation.To develop its custom flavor solutions, JMH Premium® works closely with its customers’ own chefs and culinary teams. 
“We encourage people to ask questions — because our passion is solving problems and helping customers succeed,” added Nicole DeBloois, Sr. R&D Manager. “Our service doesn’t end with creating a flavor or a recipe.  We take a recipe from bench to the final dish to deliver a great culinary experience.” 
Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance is another key component of JMH Premium®’s manufacturing services.  Customers will have access to an individualized secure online portal where they can access technical documents, specifications and related material for their products at any time. The Quality and Regulatory Compliance teams continually ensure that all Regulatory and Certifying Agency standards are met, including the FDA and USDA, State and local authorities, as well as other certifications, including Organic, Kosher and Halal. Ultimately, JMH Premium® customers are free to concentrate on their own operations, confident in the knowledge their flavor solutions are always of the highest quality. JMH Premium® offers its expertise to industrial manufacturers, hospitals, schools, restaurants, casinos and other food service companies nationwide from its facilities in Salt Lake City.