Frozen yogurt and smoothie chain Yogen Früz is not letting up on its strategy to blanket the greater San Juan metropolitan area anytime soon, announcing the opening of its newest shop at the San Patricio Town Center in Guaynabo and plans for nine more locations before the summer.
Katya Molero, president of YFPR del Caribe Inc., told News is my Business Wednesday that not only has the Puerto Rico operation kept up its commitment to the chain’s Canadian parent company of opening a store a year, but has been able to expand much quicker than anticipated.
“We bought the franchise rights in October 2010 and told Yogen Früz in Canada that we would open one store a year,” she said. “But the truth is that the concept has received tremendous acceptance and we’ve reached more franchise agreements than we originally thought, mostly due to the positive word of mouth that we’ve received.”
That said, Molero confirmed next week’s opening of Yogen Früz at the Mahi Mahi Shopping Center in Dorado, and in Mayagüez and Plaza Esmeralda in Guaynabo by May. Stores in Fajardo, Vega Alta, Bayamón, Carolina and Old San Juan are in line to open by summer.
The list of new additions includes several other locations, which Molero refrained from revealing given that contracts have yet to be signed. However, she said once those are up and running, YFPR del Caribe Inc. will likely not sell any more franchises in the San Juan metropolitan area, as it will be setting its sights on the rest of the island starting in 2013.
“We already have a waiting list of people interested in opening in other towns,” she said.
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 choices such as fresh fruits and some sweet temptations like chocolate, marshmallow, cheesecake bites and brownie bites.
San Patricio area gets its shop
Jamiret San Miguel, the newest franchisee to open a Yogen Früz shop, said Wednesday her prior familiarity with the concept and products, as well as her friendship with Molero, fueled her interest in becoming part of the chain.
“I’m from Venezuela, so I already knew what Yogen Früz was about, and I knew the quality products that it offered,” she said. “Also, I believe this is the best possible time to open this type of business because there are few of them in the market that offer people a healthy yogurt option.”
So, about six months ago, San Miguel began developing the idea and mapping out her business strategy, with support from YFPR del Caribe Inc. She chose the 800 square-foot San Patricio Town Center location based on the potential client mix — professionals, students, and residents — that frequent the area, she said.
“This is an area that offers a pretty captive audience. There are businesses, schools and people who live around here in Guaynabo who now have a place where they can come for a treat,” said the young entrepreneur who’s past professional experience includes five years managing a high-profile restaurant in Orlando.
The San Patricio Town Center location officially opened for business Mar. 17, creating 12 part-time jobs. It entailed a $190,000 investment, financed by BBVA.