BOARDMAN -- DeBartolo Property Group is aligning its expanding ice cream company with a successful pretzel company.
Ed & amp; Eddie's Homemade Ice Cream will use the management expertise of Auntie Anne's, a successful pretzel retailer based in Gap, Pa. Auntie Anne's will provide help with franchising, training, operations and marketing.
DeBartolo Property, which is owned by Eddie DeBartolo, intends to expand Ed & amp; Eddie's through franchising. It has one store in Tampa, Fla., and there are plans for three more.
Stores: Auntie Anne's has about 700 stores in eight countries. DeBartolo Property is the largest franchisee, with 17 stores and plans for three more.
The companies said the arrangement will provide expansion opportunities for both because franchisees could offer the ice cream and pretzels at one store.
Auntie Anne's is located primarily in shopping malls but this should help it expand to free-standing stores, said Sam Beiler, chief operating officer.
DeBartolo Property, which has offices in Tampa and Boardman, was created when DeBartolo and his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, split their business interests. She received the San Francisco 49ers football team, while he receive the real estate holdings and stock in Simon Property Group, an Indianapolis mall developer.