– STRATEGY TO BRING THREE SELF-SERVE FROZEN YOGURT CHAINS UNDER ONE UMBRELLA–
Tempe, AZ (January 14, 2013) – Yogurtini® (YHI, Inc,), the popular national self-serve frozen yogurt franchise created by two sisters and based in Tempe, Arizona, today announces that it has entered into a definitive acquisition by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. (NASDAQ Global Market: RMCF) headquartered in Durango, CO for an undisclosed amount. In addition, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory will be purchasing a controlling equity interest in U-Swirl, Inc., headquartered in Henderson, NV.
“Yogurtini has always been touted for its upscale design, unparalleled creativity, superior product and reflections of an active and healthy lifestyle. Personally it was always about the fun of the self-serve experience and the pleasure of working with our team to develop an incredible franchise system that so many of our franchisees have benefited from,” said Natasha Nelson, co-founder and President of Yogurtini, Inc. “The growth strategy proposed by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and U-Swirl was an obvious choice to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value in a highly competitive market. I am confident that with Yogurtini under the superior reputation and leadership of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Yogurtini will flourish for years to come,” she continued.
“Through the combination of three self-serve frozen yogurt chains there will be over 75 retail stores under one umbrella. The entire executive team believes this acquisition strategy will offer our current and future Yogurtini franchisees potential in increased savings through volume purchasing discounts, greater distribution and special offerings to our stores that could only be provided by a company such as Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory,” said Chelsey Nelson, co-founder and Vice President of Yogurtini.
Rocky Mountain already currently franchises and/or operates 16 self-serve frozen yogurt stores under the name Aspen Leaf Yogurt. U-Swirl, Inc. currently operates and/or franchises 30 self-serve frozen yogurt stores under the name U-Swirl Frozen Yogurt. Privately owned Yogurtini, currently franchises 30 self-serve frozen yogurt stores under the name Yogurtini® Self-Serve.
“By bringing these companies together, we will be able to reduce operating costs for all three systems and provide significant competitive advantages to our franchisees. We look forward to the excitement and growth opportunities that this will bring to Yogurtini.” said Alan Stribling, Chief Executive Officer of Yogurtini.
“Not only do we believe we will bring added value and strength to the Yogurtini brand and its franchises, we expect this transaction to be helpful in the pursuit of organic growth and acquisitions in the self-serve frozen yogurt sector which we expect to be accretive to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and all parties involved in the future years,” said Bryan Merryman, Chief Operating Officer of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc.
Yogurtini® regularly has classic flavors such as Ultimate Chocolate, Classic Vanilla, Chelsey’s Cheesecake, and Peanut Butter, but there is always a surprise for the more adventurous like Northshore Pineapple Tart, Orange Creamsicle and Blueberry Muffin. The incomparable Yogurtini® “House” Tart, along with a non-dairy and no sugar added flavor option is always a main stay. At Yogurtini, Flavortini© recipes are created by mixing an array of frozen yogurts and toppings like the famous “Extra Dirty”; a favorite among their loyal following.
About Yogurtini, and YHI, Inc ®:
Created by Tempe, AZ natives and sisters, Natasha Nelson and Chelsey Nelson, Yogurtini® Self-Serve offers up to 16 rotating healthy and fat-free frozen yogurt flavors and over 70 toppings. Yogurtini® only serves real yogurt that contains live and active cultures approved by the National Yogurt Association. The popularity of Yogurtini® and the brand has been recognized consistently by customers and the press in its native Arizona, where readers recently voted Yogurtini® as “Favorite Place to Chill” in 944 Magazine and “Best Sweet Spot” in College Affair Magazine. Natasha Nelson and Chelsey Nelson were both named in the “Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35” in The Arizona Republic and Arizona Magazine. The Yogurtini concept and franchise has been touted by the national press including The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Inc. Magazine, CBS News and Business Week including many others. Yogurtini® boasts having some of the most knowledgeable yogurt innovators in the industry. Yogurtini’s top quality, taste, original flavors, and extensive toppings have been praised by the masses.
Yogurtini® keeps in touch with its customers through its social networking program. www.facebook.com/yogurtini or http://twitter.com/yogurtini. For more information on Yogurtini® visit www.yogurtini.com. YHI, Inc is the franchise development company for Yogurtini. To learn more about being awarded a Yogurtini franchise visit www.yogurtini.com/franchise. Yogurtini is now offering frozen yogurt franchise area development agreements nationally and internationally. Yogurtini’s franchises are currently in or under development in Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Washington, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York and Mumbai, India.