Millie’s Homemade and TimberHut Cabin Co have Signed a Deal

Millie's Homemade and TimberHut Cabin Co have signed a deal
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Millie’s Homemade, a Pittsburgh artisan ice cream brand, and TimberHut Cabin Co., a Buffalo startup, have signed a deal.

Millie’s, which has six stores in the Pittsburgh region and stores in Kennywood and on three local college campuses, is seeking to build franchisees. Instead of separate storefronts, TimberHut will construct seasonal, modular cabins for franchisees.

TimberHut provides design concepts for three distinct types of modular cabins that it builds: the Wharf Cabin, the Vista Cabin, and the Summit Cabin, all having a 9′ by 16′ floor plan. TimberHut asserts that its cabins are constructed with eco-friendly and energy-efficient materials.

Millie’s currently lists the possible cost of operating a new franchise shop on its website as being in the range of $235K to $370K and states that it is eyeing Robinson Township, Wexford, Cranberry, Monroeville, North Huntingdon, Greensburg, Morgantown, and the South Hills as prospective new franchise locations.

During the pandemic, Millie’s established its first franchise location in South Fayette in February 2021, signaling a transition to the franchise business model. Before the Covid-19 outbreak began, Millie’s constructed a new production plant in Homestead. According to Lauren Townsend, co-founder of Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, the production facility can serve 20 to 30 stores.

Lauren describes this shift as decisive. She adds that franchising gives an excellent opportunity to survive and grow in the post-Covid era. The arrangement with Millie’s represents a new economic potential for TimberHut, shifting its focus from manufacturing modular homes for individuals to the ice cream shop and campground industries.

According to TimberHut founder Brooks Anderson, the franchise cabins will be well-appointed, highly styled, branded constructions that operate as vendor kiosks. In 2022, TimberHut attracted private capital, notably from angel investor Jack Greco. According to Anderson, if TimberHut capitalizes on the additional potential, a larger fundraising round may be required.

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