Amy's Ice Cream: Case Study

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Amy’s Ice Cream, based in Austin, Texas, is a privately held corporation formed in 1984 with 22 family members and friends as shareholders. To achieve success Amy Miller planned her business carefully, incorporated with her patners, and differentiated her product from competition. In Austin, Miller’s nine ice cream shops sell superpremium flavors worth more than $3.9 million each year.

Everything in the stores is designed to provide a memorable and fun experience. Amy Miller, CEO, wants her customer to enjoy their contact with the people in her shops while stopping in for ice cream and to come away with a good sense of community, warmth and humanity.

The video describes how Amy Miller first worked at Steve’s Ice Cream while in college. As Amy Miller prepared to open her first store, she quicky to make decisions that would affect the future of the business. She and a partner from Steve’s first had to decide where to locate. They decided on Austin because of the young population and the likelihood that this population would support an eclectic ice cream shop. Then, they had to decide how to structure the initial offering. A decision also had to be made regarding how much money was needed to start the business and how they were going to raise these funds.

Choosing the corporate form of ownership was advantageous for several reasons. With this form of ownership, liability is limited to the investors’ personal investement. If the business should fail, investors stand to lose only the money they have invested. In addition, corporations have a legal life separate from their founders and owners. Therefore, corporations can, at least theoretically, go on indefinitely. Shares can be sold and passed on from generation to generation. Corporation also have advantages in raising capital. For example, Amy’s Ice Cream should sell more stock to expand the amount of available funds. The funds could be used to buy more equipment or open more stores. Lenders are also more...
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