SPOON ME: Interview With CEO Ryan Combe

Top New Franchises has the scoop on the new FroYo concept with the funky name:  Spoon Me.

Spoon Me is “a frozen yogurt franchise company that cares about the body we live in, the community we live with, and the world we live on. We have worked diligently to provide a product that is extremely healthy and a way of doing business that will have a positive effect in our stores and in the communities where they operate.”


ryancombe2The TNF interview with Spoon Me CEO Ryan Combe reveals that the Utah-based franchisor is not just a Pinkberry knock-off, but has a clear focus on the younger demographic that sets it apart from the competition.  Spoon Me is also interesting from the standpoint that it’s use of social media such as Twitter, FaceBook, blogging and text messaging is perhaps the most progressive in the category.

Here’s an excerpt from the Top New Franchises interview:

Top New Franchises recently had the opportunity to learn more from Spoon Me founder and CEO Ryan Combe.

Top New Franchises: So, Ryan, what do you spoon at Spoon Me?
Ryan: Spoon Me frozen yogurt, of course.  Our frozen yogurt is fat free, has less than 83 calories per serving, and yogurt200contains no table sugar or artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavoring. It’s natural and quite tasty.

Our yogurt comes in three flavors: Natural. Green Tea. Or Acai [pronounced ah-si-ee]. Toppings range from fresh berries to coconut to Cap’n Crunch. Or all of the above.

Once people are done eating the yogurt, they can move on to the edible spoon (which is made of corn starch).  We also offer smoothies and “heston-style” parfaits, made from the same ingredients.

So it’s very simple product line, operationally, but gives the customer lots of choices.

Top New Franchises: How and why did you start the Spoon Me concept?
Ryan: David James and I began seeing frozen yogurt concepts popping up on the east and west coasts.  We loved some of the products, but, in our opinion just having a good product is not enough.  We also think it’s important to have a friendly, engaging environment.  A fun but meaningful brand.  And a philosophy of giving exterior200back to the community.

We decided to throw our hat in the ring to see if we could improve upon these existing concepts. We wanted to give people a fun place to hang out and socialize, not just frozen yogurt, but a complete experience.  We wanted to create a place that people would want to visit 3-4 times per week.  And we’ve done that.  Sometimes they come for the product, sometimes for the Spoon Me experience.

Top New Franchises: What IS the Spoon Me experience?
Ryan: Our stores are designed to create a friendly, high-energy social environment.  There are no televisions.  Our employees engage the customers and let them know we’re glad they’re here.  We call our customers by name whenever possible.

Customer service is a key part of our concept.  We keep the operation simple so that the employees can talk to the customer.  We don’t force canned greetings on our employees;  we encourage them to be themselves.  If they want to say “what’s up, dude?” that’s fine as long as they’re welcoming the customer.

girl200Our core, target customer is the younger, hipper demographic of 16-30 year olds.  So we keep the music lively and turned up loud.

Top New Franchises: You’ve used the term “lifestyle brand” to describe Spoon Me.  What do you mean by that?
Ryan: The Spoon Me brand represents more than frozen yogurt.  It also represents the values we share with our customers.  A love for fun, but also a commitment to giving back to our communities and to being environmentally responsible.

We’re always looking for cool ways to improve our local communities. We support local charities and causes.  People can help us spread the love by dropping a few coins in our “Keep the Change Charity,” or, if they are looking for a more hands on approach, they can check out our community board for other volunteer activities.

Spoon Me tries to be eco-friendly in every aspect of its business as well.

Top New Franchises: One thing that really sets Spoon Me apart is your use of social networking tools, such as Twitter, Facebook and text messaging, in your marketing mix.
Ryan: We cater to a younger demographic, and that’s how they communicate.  Our customers… [CONTINUE READING ABOUT SPOON ME]

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