Get ready, Denver, because a blizzard of frozen yogurt places are about to hit the market. According to Jen West at Foothill Commercial Builders, her company alone is currently building more than a dozen.
Nella's was inspired by a family tradition: "We spend a lot of time getting together for family events and meals, and on vacation we always like to find a sweet treat to end the day," says Jennifer Allen, who owns the shops with her parents. "We loved yogurt, we knew that's what we needed to do as a family, and we decided we might as well do it in Colorado."
The family decided not to do a franchise -- nixing Pinkberry and the like -- because the Allens wanted to give back to the community without restriction, Jennifer says. So she, her sister and her parents came up with their own self-serve concept and called it Nella's -- their last name spelled backwards.
Both locations will feature eight machines, which will dispense sixteen different tart and sweet flavors. Customers will be able to serve and top their own desserts, paying by the ounce.
And the two spots will open in neighborhoods that hold special significance for the family: near Columbine High School in Littleton, which Jennifer and her sister attended, and in the Tech Center, where Jennifer's father has spent most of his career.
Despite breaking into the market with a pair of shops, the Allens don't yet have firm plans growing Nella's into a chain. "We really like the idea of expanding at some point," Jennifer says, "but we don't want to do too much and lose being a part of the business."
The DTC location should open its doors at the end of March; the Littleton shop will follow at the beginning of April.
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