Issue: July/August 2011
Does Cleveland really need another frozen yogurt shop? No, says Bob Stark. It needs 30.
Developer Bob Stark has laid out an aggressive campaign for Menchie’s entrance into the Northeast Ohio market. Yogurt Treats, an entity made up of Stark’s children and Stark Enterprises employees, owns the local franchising rights and recently opened its first Menchie’s at Eton Chagrin Boulevard.
Stark serves in an advisory role and suggested the franchising opportunity after witnessing the popularity of Menchie’s shops in California.
With its doors barely open at the start of summer, the Woodmere spot had already ranked among the top-five-selling Menchie’s franchises in the United States.
Stark shares three reasons why, among the sea of yogurt shops, he knows Menchie’s will work here.
“In effect, we want to do what Starbucks did in 10 years, over the course of two to three,” Stark says. “If we saturate the market before the competition shows up, they’ll look elsewhere to open a new location.” By the end of August, he’ll have locations in Fairview Park at Westgate Mall, Lakewood, Avon, Fairlawn and Mayfield Heights.
Menchie’s reminded Stark of other successful franchises. “Menchie is an actual character and reminds me of when my kids
grew up with the Care Bears,” Stark says. “The setup is what attracted me the most. It’s not just convincing people to get frozen yogurt. It’s that third-place mentality that Starbucks invented.”
Menchie’s relies on the self-serve experience where customers are in charge of pouring their own yogurt, choosing from 16 available flavors daily, and applying their own toppings, from nuts to fudge, fruit to granola. “It’s interactive. That’s what people like to do,” he says. “It’s not just going to eat a frozen dessert. It’s also the participation.”
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