Weekly Business Profile
U-Swirl Frozen Yogurt
Type of business:
Frozen Yogurt Shop
8104 Wyoming NE, 115 Harvard SE, 5011 Montgomery NE
Albuquerque NM 87113
Number of Employees:
What sets your store apart?
U-Swirl offers the best quality yogurt and toppings. Healthy, healthy, healthy is what U-Swirl prides itself on. Making every customer feel like family is our specialty. It’s a family-friendly environment with a 20’ sofa in most stores that you can put your feet up on and relax. There are 16-20 flavors with more than 70 toppings that will make your mouth water. Customer service that makes you understand why you make this YOUR yogurt shop.
How did you get started in this business?
Dr. Larry Lehrner had been a kidney doctor in Las Vegas, Nev., for many years. He has also been a true lover of frozen yogurt. He would stop in like clockwork each day at the U-Swirl Frozen Yogurt shop near his home. After sometime, he and Kristopher Hansen became good friends, and Dr. Lehrner became interested in purchasing a franchise. Kristopher had been working in the industry for more than 18 years, starting out in Michigan working for two large full-scale restaurant chains. He moved to Las Vegas, Nev., in 2008 and was interested in exploring a yogurt business.
Why did you choose this business?
After seeing the growth in yogurt shops all over the United States and seeing them pop up all over town (Las Vegas, Nev.), we knew this was something we needed to be part of.
What is your business philosophy?
It's simple: Offer the best quality product, give the best service, and treat everyone, including your employees, like family.
What is your or your company's greatest asset?
Our greatest asset in this company, is our employees. We understand to have an employee that cares is to care ourselves. My (Kristopher’s) personal asset is to understand I have been working in customer service for more than 18 years and understand what great service is and also what bad service is. I strive to make every customer experience the best it can be.
Why did you choose to do business in Albuquerque?
The truth is, we fell in love with the town the minute we arrived. From the people to the wide open spaces, it greeted us with open arms and a big smile. We looked at Houston, and Dallas-Fort Worth before choosing New Mexico as the place to hang our open sign.
What motivates you to succeed besides the desire to make money?
Dr. Lehrner and I have the same ideas. You must give back to be a success. By giving back you are not only helping others but making this world a better place. I have always enjoyed providing opportunities for others. By offering a job, I feel as if I am offering an opportunity for a better future.
What are your growth goals?
We will be building 10 stores throughout the state of New Mexico: seven in Albuquerque, two in Santa Fe, and one in Las Cruces.
What contributions to the community (charitable or otherwise) are you most proud of?
Working with the schools and all the great people that are changing kids lives and providing a future. I have had a blast meeting the students and working with the soccer players.
What words of wisdom would you offer to someone starting their own business?
It always costs 20 percent more than you are told. Be willing to work 70 hours a week to make it happen. Learn from your staff. They understand more than you think. Give people opportunities and give back as much as you can. The pursuit of happiness has nothing to do with money.
What's your favorite saying or quotation?
"Love yourself, be yourself, and the rest will take care of itself."
If you had a chance to live anyone else's life, whose life would it be?
My grandfather was always an inspiration to me. He just saw the world differently. He saved his pennies and always thought the best of others. He worked hard and loved God. What more can we ask for?
What do you look for in prospective employees?
When looking for an employee, how does he or she carry themselves? Many times the world beats us up, and for many, it's written all over their faces. We all have an opportunity to change our little world we live in. I hire people that love themselves and want to give a little back by making each customer experience special. We are all family here at U-Swirl.
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