Industry News | February 18, 2010

U-SWIRL Goes Self-Serve

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U-SWIRL International Inc., the owner and franchiser of U-SWIRL Frozen Yogurt stores and wholly-owned subsidiary of Healthy Fast Food Inc., today announced that it has signed an Area Development Agreement with RMR Group LLC to develop U-SWIRL self-serve frozen yogurt stores in Monmouth County, New Jersey, a six-store territory. In accordance with the agreement, a minimum of three stores must be developed in the first 36 months.

RMR Group LLC was formed by partners Raymond Ambrosino and Michael Behar specifically to develop a chain of U-SWIRL franchise stores in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region. In addition to their involvement in RMR Group, Ambrosino also serves as president of Garden State Securities Inc., a leading full-service brokerage and financial planning firm based in New Jersey with 21 branch offices in New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, and Florida; and Behar is engaged in owning and operating a wide range of business interests, including real estate, retail, and lifestyle-oriented ventures. Behar is also very active in serving community-oriented and business organizations supporting the local arts and area economic development. Self-professed "serial entrepreneurs," Ambrosino and Behar have joined forces to capitalize on U-SWIRL's low-cost franchise opportunity and unique self-serve frozen yogurt superstore concept.

"For the past few years, both Ray and I have been closely monitoring prevailing consumer trends fueling impressive growth of the frozen yogurt foodservice industry in all areas of the country," Behar says. "More recently, we have committed time and resources to closely evaluating various competitive franchise systems in the space and have determined there are none better, nor more compelling, than U-SWIRL. We are very pleased that RMR Group will hold the distinction of being the company responsible for introducing U-SWIRL's self-serve frozen yogurt concept to the U.S. East Coast and fully expect that our U-SWIRL franchise stores will become an instantaneous hit with area locals and tourists, alike."

Currently, RMR Group is scouting locations in Monmouth County for its first U-SWIRL store, expected to be open by late Spring 2010. Ranked No. 42 among the highest income counties in the U.S., Monmouth County is home to more than 640,000 people and is the northernmost county on the Jersey Shore.

"I have personally known Healthy Fast Foods' management team for several years and have long been impressed with their past success and many accomplishments," Ambrosino says. "Knowing that we are teaming with highly seasoned, successful franchise system operators who are committed to supporting their area development partners gives us great comfort and confidence that we are indeed dealing with the 'right' people. Moreover, the combination of U-SWIRL's great tasting, healthy products; customer choice and convenience; store designs that welcome and accommodate large gatherings of friends and family members; and a proven, profitable business model that is both logical and smart, makes U-SWIRL a very exciting, high-growth opportunity that we anticipate will prove hugely successful in Monmouth County."

Featuring the tag line Worth the Weight, U-SWIRL allows guests the ultimate choice in frozen yogurt by providing 20 non-fat flavors, including tart, traditional, and no-sugar options; and 70 toppings, including seasonal fresh fruit, sauces, candy, and granola. Guests serve themselves and pay per ounce instead of by the cup size.