Local frozen yogurt shop, Twisted Yogurt, is demonstrating that the trendy treat is more than just a fad.
Owner Michael Bossio insists that frozen yogurt has staying power and is proving it with the growing success of his business.
“I can’t see it being a fad when you look at the amount of income people like to spend on something as simple as dessert,” he said, adding the market in North America continues to expand rapidly.
Twisted Yogurt opened the doors to its first location in August 2009. Since then, the business has opened four more locations in the greater Edmonton area.
St. Albert’s Inglewood Square shop opened for business in April, which was perfect timing, according to Bossio.
“We got really well received in a lot of the local high schools pretty quickly,” he said. “With us opening right before school got out for the summer, I think it really helped spread the word in the community.”
Twisted Yogurt gives customers 100 per cent control of their creations, allowing them to select various yogurt flavours and toppings in quantities of their choice.
The toppings range from fresh seasonal fruit and cereal to chocolate bars and gummy candies.
The price tag for each sweet treat is determined by weight, costing $0.54 per ounce. The average creation costs $4 to $6.
“I look at it not just as somewhere for food, but an activity to do as well,” Bossio said. “(It’s) somewhere you can take your kids and where they’re going to have a good time creating something.”
This concept is more than just a moneymaker for Bossio. It’s the reason he decided to break into the market in the first place.
Shortly after retiring from financial planning at age 32, Bossio was enjoying a two-week vacation in Palm Springs with his family when they were introduced to frozen yogurt.
“That was all (the time) it really took to convince me that it would be something that would be great up here as well,” he said. “We just started taking our children every single night and just loved the fact it was something (that) was non-fat, tasted really good and the kids got to have fun making their own.”
Instead of importing an American franchise to Alberta, which he said was cost prohibitive, he decided to start his own company.
After roughly nine months of planning the business and experimenting with flavours in his garage, Bossio opened the first location in his community of Sherwood Park.
Although he’s been able to grow the company into five locations, he said he doesn’t want to stop there.
“I’m disappointed in some ways; I’d still like to have more,” he said. “I get requests for franchises, probably one or two emails every single day.”
Bossio said he is still toying with the idea of franchising, but would like to see locations pop up in Red Deer, Calgary and eventually British Columbia.