Fro-yo girl here. Time for another frozen yogurt franchise report. I’ve researched each franchise that I’ve written about and supplemented my research with at least one visit to one or more of their locations.
Fresh Berry Frozen Yogurt
FreshBerry Fremont opened in 2010 and was the first self-serve location in the FreshBerry chain. In 2011, the Fremont location co-branded with Smallcakes, a line of cupcakes that was part of parent company Beautiful Brands roster of brands. The Fremont location is the only FreshBerry location in the Bay Area. They offer self-serve frozen yogurt and toppings for 40 cents an ounce, fruit yogurt smoothies, froyo pies and cupcakes.
Overview: FreshBerry has been offering franchises since 2007 and currently has 14 US locations listed on their website with other international locations in the Middle East and Venezuela. The founders David and Camille Rutkauskas also founded Camille’s Sidewalk Café and other franchise restaurant concepts.
Inside look at Fresh Berry
It’s odd that a February 2013 Tulsa World story states that FreshBerry has 40 US locations but the website only had 14 listed. Did that many close since February 2013? Or is the website out of date? Either way, it doesn’t create a good impression.
According to FreshBerry materials, new franchise owners receive 12 days of training by FreshBerry management and FreshBerry training staff will also go the new franchise location for 3 days prior to and 2 days after the grand opening.
Yogurt: FreshBerry claims their frozen yogurt is all natural and proprietary. The Fremont location had 10 self-serve flavors, including two no sugar added flavors, 2 sorbets and classic flavors. The flavor lineup was basic and boring. I sampled a few flavors. The tart (aka plain or original tart) was creamy but didn’t have a strong, clean yogurt flavor. It had a heaviness about it, tasted like cream and wasn’t tangy. The decadent dark chocolate tasted more like a creamy fudge than a dark chocolate. Café latte was a better choice: creamy, smooth coffee flavor. It tasted more like ice cream than yogurt.
Entrance to Fresh Berry Frozen Yogurt
They had the typical toppings and plenty of them, including popping boba, mochi, fresh fruit, candy, cookies, nuts, cereal, syrups, cheesecake bites, etc. Toppings weren’t labeled.
Marketing: FreshBerry doesn’t distinguish itself in terms of its concept or décor. The décor was rather plain. The shop was mostly white with some touches of orange. The signs looked generic. Toppings were not labeled. Their message emphasizes taste and health, though the healthy message conflicts with their cupcakes.
I haven’t seen much marketing effort for FreshBerry, other than the effort of individual franchise owners.
Outlook: While the stores seem to be doing better in the Middle East, there isn’t much reason to be optimistic about the US outlook. Activity seems to have peaked in 2011. The corporate website was down/unavailable for at least a couple of days, possibly longer.
· Total investment needed to open: $170,750 to $392,200
· Franchise fee: $25,000
· Royalty: 6%
· Financial requirements: I didn’t see this listed but they will evaluate the applicant’s financial status
You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.
For more on all things fro-yo, be sure to visit my blog: http://froyogirl.blogspot.com/