Blog

Yogurtini Self-Serve Franchise Acquired By Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

 

Yogurtini Self-Serve Franchise Acquired By Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

– 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.

 

Yogurtini Self Serve Frozen Yogurt Featured in Vanguard Magazine

Thanks to Vanguard Magazine for covering Yogurtini Self Serve!

Vanguard Magazine

Vanguard article on Yogurtini Self Serve

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 NewsInc. Magazine, CBS News and Business Weekincluding 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, Washington, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York and Mumbai, India.

 

 

Feature In The Arizona Republic: Yogurtini Continues Swirl of Expansion

Screen shot 2012-12-13 at 10.13.34 AM

Yogurtini in the Arizona Republic

 

The Arizona Republic recently featured Yogurtini Self Serve Frozen Yogurt Franchise in the news! Read more here or see below.

 

By J. Craig Anderson The Republic | azcentral.com Mon Jan 7, 2013 9:55 AM

Frozen-yogurt store franchisor Yogurtini, which began as a Tempe-based startup venture in 2008, continues to grow and has just expanded into Virginia, the company said Friday.

The opening of a new Yogurtini franchise in Williamsburg, Va., brings Yogurtini’s total number of locations nationwide to 29.

The self-serve fro-yo chain currently has stores in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, New York and Nebraska.

Two additional stores are scheduled to open soon, according to the company’s website: one in DuPont, Wash., and the other in Wayne, N.J.

Founded with an initial investment of about $300,000 by Natasha and Chelsey Nelson, two sisters from Tempe, Yogurtini features a relatively high-end look and is entirely self-serve.

The original Yogurtini is at 725 S. Rural Road, just southeast of Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

The Nelson sisters relied heavily on social media to market their original store, a decision that has led to explosive growth for the company.

 

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, Washington, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York and Mumbai, India.

 

Yogurtini Co-founder Natasha Nelson Named One Of the “Sexiest Entrepreneurs In The World”

Elite Daily names Natasha Nelson of Yogurtini “Sexiest Entrepreneurs in the World”

“Thanks Elite! Don’t know how I made your list with the ga-ga gorgeous Ivanka Trump, Giselle, Kathy Ireland and Sara Blakely but I will take it!” – Natasha Nelson, president of Yogurtini

To see the rest of the list click here.

Natasha Nelson of Yogurtini "Sexiest Entrepreneurs In the World"

Natasha Nelson of Yogurtini “Sexiest Entrepreneurs In the World”

The Yogurtini frozen yogurt franchise system is a fast-growing frozen yogurt chain inspired by entrepreneurial siblings Natasha and Chelsey Nelson.

Based in Tempe, Arizona, Yogurtini employs an innovative self-serve model featuring real yogurt, creative flavors, and unique toppings — a combination drawing generous attention from frozen yogurt lovers and media outlets alike.

In fact, the franchise was a recent nominee for “Best Frozen Yogurt” by the Phoenix Times.

“I have been an entrepreneur since I was a child. I think it is in my blood, my mom was also an entrepreneur. I love creating a business that focuses on something I am passionate and excited about, watching it grow and working with my staff to create fun and motivating projects for everyone.

Business can be an art. One friend calls me the “business artist”. I love that!

About Elite: For the Aspiring, Successful, and Established
At Elite we know life’s interests are multifarious. From world news, travel, culture, entertainment and all things luxury, our content is delivered to an audience with one common characteristic: They are driven by the pursuit of success. The good life is yours for the taking, and Elite Daily provides a path to get there.

To learn more about how sisters Chelsey Nelson and Natasha Nelson created Yogurtini and how you can own your own franchise click here.

About Yogurtini, and YHI, Inc ®:

Created by Tempe, AZ natives and sisters, Natasha 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. The Yogurtini concept and franchise has been touted by the national press including The Wall Street Journal, Fox 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. Additional Yogurtini franchises are currently under construction and development in Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York.


More about Natasha Nelson:

Natasha Nelson has served as President and as a member of the Board of Directors since the formation of YHI, Inc. She is the co-founder and co-creator of Yogurtini, LLC, which opened the first Yogurtini® shop in Tempe, Arizona in November 2008. Prior to her work with Yogurtini®, Nelson started the boutique PR firm, NN Public Relations, an orange county based public relations and marketing firm. www.nnpublicrelations.com. Nelson has a proven expertise and over 15 years experience in all aspects of corporate and consumer communications. She has handled and launched national PR, advertising, and marketing campaigns for major brands and start-up companies including Canon Printer and Scanners, Silver Cross Baby, TDVision Systems, and dozens of Orange County, CA clothing and fashion apparel brands.

Nelson was recently named one of the top “35 Entrepreneurs Under 35″ by the Arizona Republic and Arizona Magazine.

Yogurtini Self-Serve Co-founder Chelsey Nelson Named Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35

Chelsey Nelson – 35 Under 35

This year’s group of “35 Entrepreneurs 35 and Younger” once again exemplify how those with the courage to start businesses can see them flourish even in rough economic times.

Three-fourths of this years honorees said they launched their enterprises in 2007 or later — either shortly before, during or after the Great Recession that ran through June 2009. The list is compiled by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com.

Chelsey Nelson, co-founder of Yogurtini named top 35 entrepreneurs under 35

To learn more about how sisters Chelsey Nelson and Natasha Nelson created Yogurtini and how you can own your own franchise click here.

About Yogurtini, and YHI, Inc ®:

Created by Tempe, AZ natives and sisters, Natasha 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. The Yogurtini concept and franchise has been touted by the national press including The Wall Street Journal, Fox 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. Additional Yogurtini franchises are currently under construction and development in Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York.

More about Chelsey Nelson:

Chelsey Nelson has served as Vice President of YHI, Inc. and as a member of the Board of Directors since the company’s formation. Nelson is currently obtaining her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Upon graduation from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University with an Economics degree, Nelson co-founded and co-created the flagship Yogurtini® shop, and Yogurtini, LLC. in Tempe Arizona.

With the foresight to recognize the need for a fresh frozen yogurt concept in the Arizona market, Nelson began developing the Yogurtini self-serve concept which features innovative flavors including Yogurtini’s famous “Chelsey’s Cheesecake” and “Hawaiian Bikini Martini Sorbet” and a toppings bar boasting over 100 fun toppings. Nelson is also responsible for creating Yogurtini’s famous “Flavortini®” recipes and recipe board, the fresh design of the store, and numerous in-store marketing pieces.

Nelson continues to work on the development of all branding for Yogurtini,® as well as in-store look and feel. She is responsible for new product development and new product roll-outs, including Yogurtini’s highly anticipated monthly featured flavors. Her extensive knowledge of the market has allowed Yogurtini to stay at the forefront of the frozen desserts industry.

Aside from her work in brand management, Nelson is actively involved in company strategy and logistics. She also works in store operations, opening assistance, and vendor assistance.

Nelson was recently named as one of the top “35 Entrepreneurs Under 35” by the Arizona Republic.