When they were younger, going out for ice cream was a family affair for business partners William and Michael Hundven.
In Buckley, where they grew up, the two brothers would pile into their family’s van and drive out to an ice cream shop in Enumclaw.
“As a kid, that was the most exciting thing you could do,” said William, 26.
In July, Michael, 24, and William got the chance to become franchisees of their own ice cream shop: the Baskin-Robbins at 20911 State Route 410 E. in Bonney Lake, inside the shopping complex anchored by the Fred Meyer store.
The Hundven brothers knew a friend who owned two Baskin-Robbins shops in Auburn and recently opened a third in Kent.
“We talked to him to see what he was doing,” William said. “It seemed like a good idea, so we said let’s do it.”
Before they opened the store, the Hundven brothers had to undergo a detailed application and review process, completing background checks and business and marketing plans. Then came three weeks of training in California.
There were a lot of opportunity to improve the store. Right off the bat we changed all the light bulbs, made the place brighter, cleaned it up, cleaned the windows and moved a lot of things from the front counters and onto the back counters for a better customer experience.
“They do two weeks about Baskin-Robbins and a week of cake decorating, learning how to decorate cakes and learning about the cake business,” Michael said. “It was a pretty intense program. I learned a lot.”
Their acquisition came at a time where many Baskin-Robbins shops were available for sale to reopen by entrepreneurs. Many of the shops are still for sale, including two in Puyallup.
While the two brothers had a background in business, it was the first time they had a physical space to work with.
“There was a lot of opportunity to improve the store,” Michael said. “Right off the bat we changed all the light bulbs, made the place brighter, cleaned it up, cleaned the windows and moved a lot of things from the front counters and onto the back counters for a better customer experience.”
The Hundvens’ family, who live in the Bonney Lake and Buckley area, helped them prepare the shop for business, too. William and Michael’s younger sister even worked at the Fred Meyer next door, often stopping by on her break.
“My dad has done a lot in helping fix the lights, and plumbing,” William said. “My mom (helped) make different desserts. It made me really appreciate them.”
The shop has been open since July, but the business partners threw a grand reopening event on Aug. 27 to introduce themselves to the public, wearing matching white suits and pink ties to show off their company pride. The event was received well, they said.
Now, several months into their ownership, William and Michael say that business is great, and have seen a 26.9-percent increase in sales.
My dad has done a lot in helping fix the lights, and plumbing. My mom is in there helping make different desserts. It made me really appreciate them.
They plan to get more involved with the local community in the future, namely the school districts, and maybe start a program to promote reading.
“We have a couple high schoolers (who work at the shop),” Mike said. “One that goes to Bonney Lake High School and one that goes to Sumner High School.”
Michael and William enjoy working with each other as both business partners and brothers.
“It’s pretty cool,” Michael said. “Me and my brother get along well. We work well together. I have no complaints.”
Michael left his job as a merchandiser for Coca-Cola to manage the Baskin-Robbins shop and work with customers.
Meanwhile, William works more behind the scenes in accounting and financing of the shop. William continues to work as an environmental compliance technician, monitoring the health of the environment across the state.
“Right now our main focus is Baskin-Robbins,” Will said.
That love of ice cream never left the brothers since they were younger, and today they still enjoy the products they get to sell — specifically Baskin-Robbins’ new product, the Donut Ice Cream Sandwich, they said.
Baskin-Robbins was the right fit for multiple reasons, said the Hundvens, but one reason was simple enough: “Because ice cream is delicious.”