There's one place that Lakewood residents can find an example of a business that's booming in these tough financial times: their back yard.
Black Bear Frozen Yogurt & Espresso, the shop along Steilacoom Boulevard Southwest that's been serving up goodness for some two years, has opened two shops in Lakewood and another in Yakima.
Now, the company is announcing plans to open additional shops at Lakewood Towne Center, Tacoma Place Shopping Center in South Tacoma, Puyallup and Southcenter Square.
Black Bear credits its attention to the little things.
“During a downturn, we’ve found that consumers are still interested in little luxuries such as frozen yogurt and espresso drinks, especially if they’re provided with great customer service,” noted Jesse Roberge, Black Bear’s founder and owner “Both of those factors have been key to our ongoing success.”
For lovers of froyo such as myself, this is excellent news. You can never have enough froyo options, it seems. Congrats to Black Bear.
Here is the press release the company put out today:
Black Bear Frozen Yogurt & Espresso, headquartered in Lakewood, Wash., is rapidly expanding the number of its stores. Since launching in 2010, Black Bear opened a second Lakewood location and a shop in Yakima just this year. Four additional stores will open in Pierce and King Counties by January at Lakewood Towne Center, Tacoma Place Shopping Center, Southcenter Square and in Puyallup.
The business model caters to niche target customers and selects locations in high traffic retail areas based upon anchor tenants like movie theaters and restaurants.
“We’re grateful for how well we’ve been received in the communities where we already do business,” said Jesse Roberge, Black Bear’s founder and owner. “Customers enjoy our café atmosphere and comfortable locations, each of which has a fireplace. In addition to frozen yogurt and espresso, Black Bear also serves smoothies, blended beverages and pastries.”
While many businesses are trimming budgets and postponing expansion, Black Bear is growing despite the challenges of the slow economy. “During a downturn, we’ve found that consumers are still interested in little luxuries such as frozen yogurt and espresso drinks, especially if they’re provided with great customer service,” noted Roberge. “Both of those factors have been key to our ongoing success.”
Planning for future growth, Black Bear recently began the process to secure franchising rights and will be able to franchise in 2014.
“We are thrilled to see businesses like Black Bear that were first established in our city continuing to expand into new markets,” notes Becky Newton, economic development specialist for the City of Lakewood. “The city’s economic development team is here to support Blear Bear and other businesses achieve their goals.”