FroyoWorld is featured on the 2013 GoLocalProv College Guide: Best Places To Eat On A College Budget.
FroyoWorld is featured on the 2013 GoLocalProv College Guide: Best Places To Eat On A College Budget.
Congratulations to HEGGY22 and LUNA_MILNE – they each won two tickets to Justin Timberlake on November 7 at the XL Center in Hartford!
We had a lot of great and very creative entries from our loyal FroyoWorld fans. So many that we decided to include 4 runners up! Our runners up will receive a $10 gift card that can be used at any FroyoWorld location!
Love FroyoWorld? Love contests? Follow us on Instagram for a behind the scenes look at our company, our delicious yogurt and more chances to win great prizes!
Brothers Willam Bok ’08 (CLAS), left, and Dennis Bok ’04 (BUS), founders of the frozen yogurt chain FroyoWorld, in their Storrs Center store. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
As kids, UConn alumni Dennis ’04 (BUS) and William Bok ’08 (CLAS) were self-described troublemakers. Today, they’re enjoying the sweet life as entrepreneurs and founders of FroyoWorld – Connecticut’s first self-serve frozen yogurt chain.
Since its launch in the summer of 2010, the chain has grown to 18 locations, including the recently opened FroyoWorld in Storrs Center, just off campus at 1 Dog Lane. The chain is expected to expand to 50 or more locations by the end of 2013, according to William, the younger of the two Bok brothers. In the past year, FroyoWorld has experienced a whopping 600 percent growth.
The Boks credit UConn – and specifically the Student Support Services program in which they both participated – with helping them achieve such success. SSS provides advising, academic support, and advocacy for first-generation, low-income, and/or underrepresented students at UConn.
In their youth, the Bok brothers were capable, but didn’t have much initiative, admits William. It was their responsible older sister, also a UConn alum, who convinced them to apply for the SSS program.
All SSS students take part in a six-week summer program just before their freshman year to help prepare them for university life and the rigors of college-level courses. Dennis went through the SSS summer program in 2000. His brother took part two years later.
The course was “almost like a boot camp,” says Dennis. “At first, it’s hard to be there knowing your friends are off at the beach,” adds William, “but it’s worth it.”
The summer program showed them what to expect at UConn, and helped them get some basic requirements completed, easing the workload while they were adjusting to life in college. “It helped us out tremendously,” says Dennis.
Both brothers graduated from UConn – Dennis from the School of Business with a degree in accounting and William from CLAS with a major in history. While Dennis is the one with a business-related degree, both brothers have business in their blood. They followed in the footsteps of their parents, who came from Korea and opened their own dry-cleaning establishment in Branford.
William got his initial taste of the frozen yogurt trade when he started a self-serve frozen yogurt lounge in San Francisco with his wife’s cousin. A few years later, he sold the business and moved back to Connecticut. In August 2010, he opened the first FroyoWorld in New Haven with his wife and brother. The chain has been expanding rapidly ever since.
FroyoWorld targets areas around college campuses, positioning its first store near Yale and others near Brown and UMass. As of now, most FroyoWorlds are located in New England and New York, but the chain also has two sites in Puerto Rico. In an effort to take the company international, the Boks are working on opening a store in London.
From the very beginning, they intended to bring FroyoWorld to UConn. The new Storrs Center provided the perfect opportunity. They are also scheduled to open a store near UConn’s planned new Hartford campus.
While frozen yogurt isn’t new, the self-serve aspect of their business is. Customers pay by the ounce and choose from a rotating menu of 12 unique flavors and dozens of toppings and “drippings” (sauces). The base flavor is the original award-winning Tart that William brought back from San Francisco. His wife and sister create new flavors, which are exclusive to FroyoWorld. (Dennis’ favorites are Strawberry Tart and Peanut Butter. William prefers Original Tart topped with Fruity Pebbles, strawberries, and mocha – a Japanese sweet rice cake.)
The Bok brothers aren’t just introducing new Froyo flavors to the world. They’re also creating much-needed jobs. Each FroyoWorld employs 10 to 15 people. The company’s core employees are mainly friends and family, says William. The manager of the New Haven store is a fellow alum of UConn and Student Support Services. And the manager of the Storrs FroyoWorld, Cec Amado, first met Dennis in the SSS summer program.
“Dennis was my first friend at UConn,” Amado says.
“We like to help UConn people,” says Dennis.
The frozen yogurt barons have come a long way since their undergraduate days. To today’s SSS students, Dennis says: “When you ask yourself, ‘Why am I learning this? I’ll never use it,’ think of it as the building blocks.”
William agrees: “All the things you learn and the people you meet will come into play later.”
That’s some pretty sweet advice.
FROYOWORLD - New Haven
It’s not a frozen yogurt shop, it’s a Frozen Yogurt Lounge. Get it right, silly. Multiple locations. Sorbet, too.
1st Runner-up: Ashley’s Ice Cream
2nd Runner-up: Wentworth Homemade Ice Cream
With Spring finally in the air and hundreds of pre-frosh making their way to Wesleyan, Froyo World has added tons of new, delicious flavors to their repertoire! I went down to the Main Street yogurt bar to do some taste tests, and let me tell you, the results are positive! Here’s the lineup:
Original Tart- No explanation necessary. The no-fail flavor that all froyo-fans know and love.
Green Apple Tart- A light, refreshing yogurt with a sharp, green apple taste. It perfectly captures the tartness of the fruit while maintaining a creamy texture. I like mixing it with the original tart and covering it in fruit!
Dutch Chocolate- If you want to keep it simple, the Dutch Chocolate is a great option. It goes well with anything, be it another flavor of froyo, fruit, chocolate, cereal, or cookie dough.
Vanilla Bean- Like the chocolate, it’s hard to go wrong with this one. The vanilla taste is subtle but definitely present.
Graham Crackers & Cream- This is Froyo World’s flavor of the month. It’s amazingly authentic, and goes great with toppings like s’more clusters, graham crackers, and chocolate!
Toasty Marshmallow- Although it’s hard to capture the deliciousness of a marshmallow without the texture, this yogurt is as close as you can get. Mix it with Graham Crackers & Cream and Dutch Chocolate and top it with s’more clusters and marshmallow fluff for the ultimate s’more experience.
Samoa Cookie- As always, Froyo World proves their knack for authenticity with this one. It perfectly emphasizes the wonderful balance between coconut, caramel, vanilla, and chocolate flavoring that makes Samoa Cookies an American staple.
Cake Batter- One of Froyo World’s most popular flavors, Cake Batter is super sweet with a faint, cakey aftertaste. It’s a great base for crumb cake, brownies, cookie dough, and cereal.
Greek Black Cherry- This new flavor is one of the best frozen yogurts I ever tried. The texture is phenomenal. It’s thick and creamy without being too indulgent. The black cherry gives it a slight tartness, and it’s sweet enough to satisfy a craving without giving you an all day sugar high. I mixed it with original tart and topped it with fruit.
No Sugar Added Cheesecake- With only 80 calories per half-a-cup, the cheesecake flavor will be a definite hit for people trying to watch their calories. That being said, even non-dieters are sure to enjoy it’s rich, creamy cheesecake flavor. Top it with cheesecake bites, raspberries, and white chocolate chips for a real treat!
Sweet Pink Grapefruit Sorbet- Froyo World knows how to make a good sorbet. This refreshing flavor is sweet, tangy, and super delicious.
Fresh Coconut Sorbet- If you’re into coconut, you will love this flavor. It’s beyond authentic.
Needless to say, regardless of what kind of froyo experience you’re looking for, Froyo World will be able to fulfill your cravings! Definitely stop by this week and try one of their delicious new flavors, and let us know what you think!
STORRS, CONN. (WTNH) – The University of Michigan has Ann Arbor, the University of Vermont has Burlington, now UConn has Storrs Center in downtown Mansfield, a town square many have said was missing from the Connecticut campus.
Mayor Betsy Paterson has been hearing about it since she moved to town in 1967.
“We’re trying to make this an appealing college town not only to college students, but to the people who live here,” Mayor Paterson of Mansfield said.
Froyo World is among the first eleven stores to open their doors. Husky Pizza, Subway, and Insomnia Cookies are also here allowing many to sleep easier with the completion of this first phase of construction.
“I’m a senior here and it’s been needing this for a while. UConn has been missing out, we needed a downtown area. This is the best thing that happened in a long time at this school,” Senior Mark Viola said.
Viola says it’s a safe, happening place for students day or night. Retail, rental units, even electric car hook ups in the parking garage.
Congressman Joe Courtney helped secure some of the federal funding.
“It really does show that small business and local government and support from outside that helps with infrastructure projects that all can work together to really create a good environment for growth and jobs,” Democrat Rep. Joe Courtney said.
Rep. Courtney spoke with Mary Cox, a former UConn employee who is happy to see the town square replace the strip malls which lined the Storrs campus.
“Oh my gosh. It’s grown leaps and bounds. I’m hoping my younger one will come to UConn. I want her to come to UConn,” Cox of Canterbury said.
The center aims to impress those here and those thinking about coming to UConn.
University towns face a unique challenge in fostering a successful downtown business environment. And perhaps none more so than the rural town of Mansfield, dwarfed by UConn’s massive Storrs campus. But the town is hopeful that a decade’s worth of work to construct an entirely new downtown will shortly come to fruition. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.
This is FroyoWorld, has been open in Mansfield for just five weeks offering a variety of frozen yogurts to hungry students.
“We have original tart, strawberry tart, vanilla bean, dutch chocolate….”
Manager Cec Amado says the store has had a phenomenal start.
“It’s been awesome. Yeah, I mean, there’s always a line, especially around 7, 8pm. Like, it’s pretty ridiculous.”
The FroyoWorld business started three years ago in New Haven, and the Mansfield outlet is now its thirteenth in Connecticut., and Amado says his boss, the founder of the company, Dennis Bok, always intended to come here.
“He was actually a graduate here in 2006, he graduated, I believe. And it was one of his visions, to always come here and start one up in UConn.”
Froyoworld is one of eleven new businesses open in the ambitious Storrs Center project, which is just celebrating the opening of its first phase, and outside its doors, the sounds of construction are all around.
Five more businesses will open shortly, leaving just two commercial vacancies still to be filled. Macon Toledano is from Leyland Alliance, the master developer on the project.
“It’s actually exciting that even at a time when the economy is struggling, we’ve had a very positive response from tenants who want to get in here and be part of this environment.”
The project also includes 127 new rental apartments, all of which are spoken for. In coming phases the project will add another 185 residential units.
“This is a civic space. This is where university meets high school, meets town hall, meets community center, meets post office, meets center of places to go eat, shop and play. It all comes together here, and the town square is effectively a symbol of that.”
Mansfield’s Mayor, Betsy Paterson is on the board of the public-private partnership that has fostered this ambitious and at times controversial vision.
“I’ve been working on this project since the first day. Since its conception. So I’ve been working on it now for probably eleven or twelve years. And to see it finally rise out of the ground is so exciting, especially when it’s coming out of the ground looking like what we’ve envisioned for ten long years.”
Paterson says the partnership has allowed UConn and Mansfield a fresh start.
“We are a university community. A university community involves students. We have worked together to try to mitigate the problems that we’ve had in the past, ie spring weekend, those kinds of things, and we’ve made a lot of progress. The beauty of this partnership is that many other partnerships between the university and the town have opened up.”
There’s been federal funding alongside the private investment in Storrs Center. Second District congressman Joe Courtney says he’s impressed to see apartments rented and businesses already open.
“And it shows that, despite a lot of skepticism, the demand for a huge project like this was there. UConn I think sometimes gets overlooked as an economic engine. This project I think really highlights the fact that it’s really an important part of Connecticut’s economy.”
More businesses, including a convenience store will open shortly, and phase two of the project which includes a branch of the UConn Co-op and the UConn Health Center is slated for August 2013.
For WNPR, I’m Harriet Jones.
This frozen yogurt lounge has grown from one to four locations in Connecticut (Cheshire, Hamden, North Haven and Westport) and two in Massachusetts, (Franklin and Amherst, where it is a favorite for the five colleges in that little town). The menu is playful and ever changing. For example, May was Aloha month with flavors such as the banana islander, pina colada and blood orange. Billed as a healthier alternative to ice cream, the Froyo motto is “indulge yourself,” and with so many unique flavors and a long list of toppings to choose from, this bastion of the tart treat is thriving.
STORRS – What a difference a couple of years make.
That’s the time it took for Froyoworld to grow from a start-up storefront on High Street in New Haven to a company that has attracted two-dozen current and prospective franchisees and company expansions.
The latest expansion of the frozen yogurt chain is at a new mixed-use development adjacent to the UConn campus.
“We opened in New Haven a couple of years ago, and we’ve been shooting ever since,” says cofounder Dennis Bok, who is part of the company’s Franchise Development Team. For the past few months Bok, a 2004 UConn graduate, has been preoccupied with the new Storrs company store, slated to open this month. In addition to the original store in New Haven, other company stores have been established in Hamden and Providence, R.I. A fifth is in negotiations.
Photo: State officials gather with franchise owners at the opening ceremony for the newest FroyoWorld in Storrs.
Froyoworld also has newly minted franchisees in North Haven and Middletown. They were added to a roster of franchises that include locations in Westport, Mystic, Franklin, Mass. and even Puerto Rico, among others.
“[The franchise-owner in Puerto Rico] was visiting Yale and walked into the store. He wanted to take it to Puerto Rico,” recounts Bok, who adds that at any given time he and his partners are in talks with several people interested in a Froyoworld franchise. He’s not surprised that their product has generated such excitement.
“It’s a great concept, a great business model,” he says. Crowds that regularly gather at the New Haven store from early afternoon when it opens to late evening when it closes would appear to attest to that.
Froyoworld is self-service frozen yogurt lounge. Visitors walk in, pick up a container, choose from an assortment of frozen yogurt flavors and toppings that range from chocolate pieces to fruit to nuts, then place their individualized dessert on a scale at the front counter to be weighed. The retail price is 49 cents per ounce.
In addition to being tasty, Froyoworld frozen yogurt is marketed as being probiotic and touted as a healthier alternative to ice cream.
Bok’s brother William made that observation two years ago (when BNH ran a story about the new business).
“We’re just totally different from an ice cream shop,” William Bok said then. He also made note of how difficult is was to establish a business, “especially something new, in this down economy,” and expressed his desire to offer opportunities for franchises.
In addition to the Bok brothers, William’s wife Susan also is a company cofounder.
Opening each new Froyoworld carries a $250,000 to $340,000 price tag in build-out costs, says Dennis Bok. A franchise costs $15,000, plus six percent of gross sales. And Bok says company management can’t field the inquiries fast enough.
“Everyone, they just fall in love with Froyoworld,” he says, adding that stores also provide employment for local residents and students.
“We typically employ a little over ten [workers], two to three full-time and the rest part-time” for each location, says Bok. “A lot of people who work here are college students looking for part-time jobs.”
For more information about work, products or franchise opportunities at Froyoworld, call 203-777-4044.
— Felicia Hunter