When Cold Comfort’s a Good Thing

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"http:// /blog//#generic_ativan">froyoworldSTORRS – What a difference a couple of years make.

ThatÂ’s the time it took for Froyoworld to grow from a start-up storefront on High Street in New "/#_generic"> to a company that has attracted two-dozen current and prospective franchisees and company expansions.

The latest expansion of the frozen yogurt chain is at a new mixed-use development adjacent to the UConn campus.

“We opened in New Haven a "there">there of years ago, and we’ve been shooting ever since,” says cofounder Dennis Bok, who is part of the company’s Franchise Development Team. For the past few months Bok, a 2004 UConn graduate, has been preoccupied with the new Storrs company store, slated to open this month. In addition to the original store in New Haven, other company stores have been established in Hamden and Providence, R.I. A fifth is " / ">order negotiations.

Photo: State officials gather with franchise owners at the opening ceremony for the newest FroyoWorld in "blog/buyvalium//#visit_us">visit us.

Froyoworld also has newly minted franchisees in North Haven and Middletown. They were added to a roster of franchises that include locations in Westport, Mystic, Franklin, Mass. and even Puerto Rico, among others.

“[The franchise-owner in Puerto Rico] was visiting Yale and walked into the store. He wanted to take it to Puerto Rico,” recounts Bok, who adds that at any given time he and his partners are in talks with several people interested in a Froyoworld franchise. He’s not surprised that their product has generated such excitement.

“It’s a great concept, a great business model,” he says. Crowds that regularly gather at the New Haven store from early afternoon when it opens to late evening when it closes would appear to attest to that.

Froyoworld is self-service frozen yogurt lounge. Visitors walk in, pick up a container, choose from an assortment of frozen yogurt flavors and toppings that range from chocolate pieces to fruit to nuts, then place their individualized dessert on a scale at the front counter to be weighed. The retail price is 49 cents per ounce.

In addition to being tasty, Froyoworld frozen yogurt is marketed as being probiotic and touted as a healthier alternative to ice cream.

Bok’s brother William made that observation two years ago (when BNH ran a story about the new business).

“We’re just totally different from an ice cream shop,” William Bok said then. He also made note of how difficult is was to establish a business, “especially something new, in this down economy,” and expressed his desire to offer opportunities for franchises.

In addition to the Bok brothers, William’s wife Susan also is a company cofounder.

Opening each new Froyoworld carries a $250,000 to $340,000 price tag in build-out costs, says Dennis Bok. A franchise costs $15,000, plus six percent of gross sales. And Bok says company management can’t field the inquiries fast enough.

“Everyone, they just fall in love with Froyoworld,” he says, adding that stores also provide employment for local residents and students.

“We typically employ a little over ten [workers], two to three full-time and the rest part-time” for each location, says Bok. “A lot of people who work here are college students looking for part-time jobs.”

For more information about work, products or franchise opportunities at Froyoworld, call 203-777-4044.

Felicia Hunter

Should Connecticut Give Special Incentives to Individual Companies?

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