In 2012, Ava Skipworth left a 20-year career to create a company that could stand out, do things differently and enrich her community. From this vision and a lot of hard work emerged Monster Yogurt, and the rest is history.
We recently spoke with Skipworth to find out what she looks for in potential franchisees, where she sees the franchise in five years and, lastly, what advice she has for aspiring entrepreneurs.
We offer over 80 premium, self-serve frozen yogurt, Original Tart, European Tart, Gelato and sorbet flavors and a bounty of 75-plus toppings sold by the ounce. Monster Yogurt has a bright, fun, playful color palette. There is a “Monster Cave,” a free, clean play area for the kids and added comfy seating for the parents. This area is tucked away but viewable by large windows, providing a safe place for families, while allowing a quieter kid-free zone for those without children. A private party room provides space for birthday parties and other events with larger groups.
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Monster Yogurt provides free wi-fi, so parents and those away from the office can enjoy their treats, but still have the ability to multi-task. The complimentary coffee ties to a different charity each month. Grab a cup of coffee and if the coffee with the worthy cause speaks to you, add to the donation slot — where 100 percent of the proceeds go to that charity.
What is the idea behind the franchise?
To provide a world-class, carefree and entertaining dessert experience for friends and family alike.
How does it compare to its competition?
Monster Yogurt is a truly unique concept in that our target market is families with small children. By providing a stay-and-play atmosphere, Monster Yogurt sets itself apart and quickly becomes the go-to place for treats.
What do you look for in a potential franchisee?
Monster Yogurt’s ideal candidate will have the following:
Financial resources — A minimum liquidity of $150,000 a minimum net worth of $400,000.
Share a devotion for our mission — To provide a world-class, carefree and entertaining dessert experience for friends and family alike.
Have commitment to our brand critical standards
Have fun — We believe that by having fun and creating a fun environment that we can impact the way other people enjoy life.
Time with family and friends — We believe that time with family and friends strengthens relationships and bonds within families and communities.
Carefree style — Carefree means free from anxiety or responsibility. This is not a feeling many parents or caretakers experience often. We believe that it is our duty to provide carefree moments for our guests.
Clean environment — At Monster Yogurt, cleanliness perception is as critical as the reality. We believe that from the first customer of the day to the last every customer deserves the same clean experience.
Community leaders: live local — Be an enthusiastic member of your community. Your Monster Yogurt will bring value to the community. Through coffee charities and grassroots efforts our actions and contributions will reflect the value that we bring.
Where do you see the franchise in five years?
Monster Yogurt is poised to do great things. Our goal is to develop 200 locations within the next 5 years. We are currently developing the DFW Metroplex and will maintain an outward growth. I feel that this approach is vital to the success of great brands. My team and I want to provide unparalleled franchise support and strong brand awareness.
Can you describe a typical day in the life of a franchisee?
There are many aspects to owning and running a business. My philosophy is when you own your own business do the parts you enjoy! One franchisee may focus on the behind the scenes activities while another will want to be up front greeting customers and making yogurt. The great thing about owning a franchise is there are systems in place for every task.
What’s your background?
I am a former general manager of a Saturn Dealership. I decided to leave the industry to pursue my dreams of entrepreneurship.
What motivates you to keep going?
The primary thing that keeps me going is fun. I love providing an environment for families to enjoy and grab some down time. When I am out in the community with my Monster Yogurt uniform on kids treat me like a rock star with high-fives and hugs. I will never get tired of the enthusiasm of children!
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have made the first location larger to accommodate more seating.
Please tell us your secret to success…
My number one attribute for success is an attitude of continued improvement. I wake up every day and ask myself, “How can I make things better?”
What is the worst job you have ever had and what did you learn from it?
The worst job I ever had was being a parts runner for a small auto shop. I would drive all over town and even junkyards sourcing parts for various jobs. Though at 16 driving all over and crawling through junkyards did not seem so bad at the time. I learned to pay attention to what others are doing or you may end up in a wreck.
What is one trend that really excites you?
The addition of gelatos and custards into the soft serve arena excites me.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
- Facebook: It is effective and comparably inexpensive.
- Instagram: A picture is worth 1,000 words.
- Review and blog sites: Having many outlets for customers to communicate with your brand truly helps stay on top of the attitudes and feelings of customer experiences.
Do you (or did you ever) have a mentor?
I have had many mentors along the way, but my number one has always been my father. My father has been a successful entrepreneur his entire life. His knowledge and support has guided me throughout my adventures.
Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Do what you love. Love what you do.
Where can people get more information on Sidestep Coaching franchise opportunities?
Visit the website here.
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