Frozen yogurt chain Yogen Früz is opening its fifth store today, looking to capture residents and visitors of the affluent Ocean Park neighborhood in San Juan with its creamy and tasty treats.
The 1,650 square-foot, McCleary Street shop is the first of the Canadian chain’s 1,200 locations to feature a drive-thru option for customers, said Katya Molero, president of Nagu Corp., which holds the franchise rights to develop the Yogen Früz chain in Puerto Rico.
So far, the company has invested some $3 million combined to establish the Ocean Park, Caguas, Aguadilla, Hato Rey and Cupey shops in it first year of operations, generating about 60 jobs, she said.
“The success we’ve had so far has everything to do with the fact that before we opened the first store, we tried everything Yogen Früz sold,” Molero said. “I’m a lover of good food and everything we sell here is good.”
Nagu Corp. entered the local market in October 2010, upon picking up the franchise rights from another local entrepreneur who had it, but did not develop the concept. Her company works with third-party developers who run and operate the stores, which are closely monitored for quality and service, Molero said.
In the next three months, plans call for opening six additional stores, with an associated investment of about $1 million, in the San Francisco area of San Juan, Guaynabo, Old San Juan, Dorado, Mayagüez, and the San Patricio Plaza sector. Those stores should generate another 90 to 100 jobs, she noted.
A total of 10 new stores — in stand-alone, in-line or kiosk formats — are slated to open in 2012.
“When we picked up the rights to Yogen Früz, the parent company only required us to open one store a year,” she said, adding that the local business model is being noticed in Canada, which has allowed Nagu to tweak certain aspects of the business.
“For example, we’ve gotten flexibility to improve the toppings we use for our yogurt combinations,” she noted.
Yogen Früz features as many as 40 yogurt flavors that change weekly. Some of the featured flavors are red velvet, piña colada, coconut, birthday cake, chocolate hazelnut and coffee, among others.
In addition to these flavors customers can choose from low-fat, non-fat, non-fat no-sugar-added, and lactose intolerant options. To top off their choice of yogurt, Yogen Früz offers a variety of topping choices such as fresh fruits and some sweet temptations like chocolate, marshmallow, cheesecake bites and brownie bites.