ATTENTION: On October 16, 2007, the firm took in $27.5 million in capital funding from Maveron, the venture fund founded by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, to expand the firm’s concept nationwide. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinkberry#History
What does it all mean? Pinkberry has not been sold to a new owner, but Pinkberry, Inc. received new investment fund so that the company can open new stores at a faster rate nationwide. If you’re really interested in the Pinkberry franchise, I would recommend that you have sufficient capital and personal assets to start up the business, and business experience (or a partner who does) to convince the franchiser that you are a good candidate. If all fails, there are dozens of frozen yogurt franchises that require a much lower investment capital. Good luck in your business endeavor!
Interested in a Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt franchise? Well, you may need to wait a few more months to even obtain a franchisee prospectus from Pinkberry, Inc. Here is the quick rundown of What’s New in the thriving business:
- The word is that Pinkberry, Inc. has been acquired by one of the Walt Disney’s Company as of December 2006.
Update: The acquisition has not been finalized as the owners of Pinkberry did not accept the offer.
- The two founders, Hye-kyung “Shelly” Hwang and Young Lee are now (or could be) successful multi-millionaires. Congratulations.
- Prior to the acquisition, Pinkberry, Inc. did not offer prospects with an Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC) because the company did not apply with the California Franchise Tax Board.
So you’ve heard of the frozen yogurt from a friend and you ended up trying the product out yourself. Undoubtedly, the frozen yogurt tasted surprisingly good despite the premium price. And for those with the entrepreneurial sense you suddenly wanted to open up your very own Pinkberry store. Eureka, I can become a franchisee! It will not be easy as you think it is and by reading the blog in its entirety, I hope this info could save you the time and energy.
Was it a mere coincidence that I picked up that day’s copy of the LA Times? Apparently not because I am here blogging about the business and not operating my own Pinkberry in Victoria Gardens shopping center or somewhere down in Irvine. If I had contacted Shelly the day I read the Times, it might have been a different story. It was late October when I sent off an e-mail to inquire on becoming a franchisee. I didn’t get a response from them but I did get both an e-mail and a phone call from the Fiore Natural Italian Yogurt company which I had contacted at the same time as Pinkberry. But I wasn’t interested in Fiore or investing in a franchise by December.
Based on outside sources, it took only a few days for Pinkberry to attract a line of investors willing to pay an upfront fee (six digit sum) to “reserve” their own store. I doubt the deposits accrued any interest so I am willing to bet that some of the investors were not too happy. An average time to open a single Pinkberry takes longer than three months because of many hoops to go through. Getting a lease agreement finalized from start could take a few weeks in itself. But in mid-November, Pinkberry, Inc. hired a professional real estate firm that specializes in retail leasing (Robert K. Futterman & Associates, LLC) to expedite the whole process.
I did an extensive research on the industry, a break-even analysis, market analysis, and financial planning. I basically wrote a complete business plan on Pinkberry. Thanks goes out to Julie Chun for providing more than a sufficient amount of resources. Thank you very much, really helped out on the business plan. If anyone would like to see the business plan, please give me a call but I am only willing to show the plan face to face due to a few confidential information. Edit: Two of the investors requested that I do not show the business plan to an outside party.
What was interesting during the investigation was the the local competitors of Pinkberry. An infamous company that copied the decor and the product line with the exception of the business name but it isn’t difficult to figure out how the business name was thought out. Kiwiberry (sometimes spelled as Kiwiberri) business was founded by John Bae. You can also find more information about Kiwiberry online (Colleen’s blog) and read mixed reviews from Pinkberry’s loyal fans. Hwang was well aware of Kiwiberry and Bae’s intention to steal their customer base ,and eventually Pinkberry, Inc. had filed a lawsuit against Kiwiberry on November 2006 in the City of Los Angeles.
Before I go any further about the business, let me share with you a brief history how the founders got their idea and why this business can be a smart investment for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Shelly had early experience in the food industry and had ran a few restaurant franchises on her own. Two of the businesses had failed. Yet she persevered and thought of an idea to open another food service store but at a much smaller scale. She imported the frozen yogurt concept from South Korea and created the Pinkberry brand on her own. In urban cities in South Korea, frozen yogurts were a popular dessert amongst the social hangouts. The Red Mango (website requires the Flash plugin) company is one of the most widely known franchise that makes a wide variety of drinks, yogurts, ice cream, and desserts. Red Mango is one of many other yogurt businesses that have been operating in South Korea. Hwang acknowledged that the very idea of the Pinkberry concept was not her very invention but a product of someone else. Without a doubt, Hwang (the “Entrepreneur”) took the risk of introducing a fairly new concept to the Southern California market by investing her own capital and time and building a new demand in the market.
- Strong Brand (in the local market and quickly expanding); Disney’s acquisition will surely create a stronger brand awareness
- Excellent Locations; Pinkberry leases only upscale retail locations
- Attractive Profit Margin; above 50% profit for each sales (variable)
- Premium Upfront Fee; franchise fee is in the six digit
- Easy entrants of competitors; yogurts (Golden Spoons), smoothies (Jamba Juice), ice-cream (Cold Stones), and etc.
- Fad; people can live without frozen yogurt and there are many alternatives
Important Reminder: Pinkberry, Inc. has not been officially registered with the California Franchise Tax Board. I might be getting some incorrect information but the following information i found on CareerBuilder.com contradicts the franchise aspect of Pinkberry.
4sunkids, Inc. name have been popping in many websites mostly from on job searches. Some pages address the company as the “Nation’s largest franchise of Pinkberry” and it may or may not be true. From what I can tell based on those websites, 4sunkids, Inc. may just be one of the early investors of Pinkberry and the investor(s) created the business entity and posting availability of part-time jobs in their Pinkberry stores.
4sunkids, inc. is the Nation’s largest franchise of Pinkberry, the innovative company that has brought style and panache to the world of frozen desserts with its upscale, modern décor and unique concept. We serve non-fat frozen yogurt with a natural tang that’s not too sweet – top it off with a variety of fresh fruit like mango or blueberry, add some mochi or Cap’n Crunch and you’ll know what all the fuss is about.
4sunkids is opening ten new locations throughout the Greater Los Angeles area over the next three months and we’re looking for qualified Multi-Unit Managers, Store Managers and Assistant Managers with experience in the quick-service industry to help us realize our goals. Come work for a company where your efforts and experience are appreciated and rewarded. We offer a competitive salary, bonus structure and benefits as well as immediate potential for career-minded individuals.
Source: careerbuilder.com; URL is extremely long.
A continuation of the Pinkberry Yogurt Business is being added to help you on your venture. The investor mentioned in the business plan requested that I do not disclose nor share the business plan with anyone.