The Birth of Swirleez Frozen Yogurt Inc4
The birth of Swirleez began while on a family trip in Myrtle Beach in March 2013. After a fun game of mini-putting, our family felt like having an ice cream. Around the corner from us was a quaint, bistro-style shop called The Barking Fish Yogurt Company. We were happily greeted by the middle-aged female owner who explained this new concept to us, spoke of all the health benefits of her yogurt and showed us how to help ourselves to the yogurt machines and toppings. We were hooked! I fell in love with the ability to create your own treat from choosing what flavours of frozen yogurt to dispense into your bowl to the variety of toppings to top it off. I was like a kid in a candy store!
Would the people of Barrie embrace something like this?
Being entrepreneurs, my husband and mine “wheels” started turning as we indulged in our frozen treats on the bistro patio. “Would the people of Barrie embrace something like this?” we asked ourselves. “Would frozen yogurt survive in the North where its cold 5-6 months of the year?” We thought yes! So that family trip started an endeavour that eventually became Swirleez.
Research, Research & Research
Upon returning home, we researched ad nauseum all aspects of the frozen yogurt industry from design, franchises, suppliers, locations, names, and colour schemes to accessory product items and equipment. We chose to build our own independent store rather than purchase a franchise because we wanted the flexibility and creativity to bring in our own product line and decor ideas. We wanted to offer more than just delicious tasting frozen yogurt. From the beginning, we have offered home-made crepes and waffles – warm, comfort food that could be accompanied with a scoop of our yogurt, fresh fruit and paired with a cup of our freshly-brewed coffee or loose leaf tea. All of our products and supplies (other than our printed custom yogurt bowls) are sourced locally here in Ontario with many right here in Barrie.
Listening & Responding to our Customers
Being independently-owned also allows us to respond more readily to customers’ needs. Upon several requests to host birthday parties, which was not in the original business plan, we rented additional space behind Swirleez that serves as our fun Party Room and meeting space for up to 20 people. Our birthday parties are a hit with both kids and parents alike! We have trained party coordinators that lead the children through a variety of fun, yogurt-related games and activities as well as teach them how we make a batch of yogurt in our Yogurt Factory. And of course, they get to enjoy a bowl of yogurt of their own choosing.
We have brought in various toppings and yogurt flavours based on customer demand because we care about our customers, we listen to our customers, and we want everyone to have a very positive experience at Swirleez.
Your Happy Place
From our first explosive weekend when we opened on May 8th, 2014 to winning the New Business Award seven months later, we strive to continually “WOW” our customers with our delicious products, cool chic decor, and unsurpassed customer service. After hearing over and over from our customers how happy and cheery they felt when at Swirleez, we actually changed our tagline to “Your Happy Place” because that’s what we are.