Grand Opening – Day 1

I’m not sure how to explain yesterday. It’s a bit of a blur.  Overall, it was a great day.  So many friends and family came as well as the Kenneth Village community and others who wanted to try it.  The support was overwhelming.

We opened our doors at 10:30am, and we had customers all day long, almost without a break.

The reaction to our soft serve was overwhelmingly positive.  People seemed to love it.  I’m not surprised, but love hearing it and seeing their reactions.  

I could see that the Yoga-urt team was starting to find their groove, although we have a ways to go.

There were some challenging parts to the day as well.  On and off, the salted caramel and chocolate would come out too liquidy.  We think it’s because if the heat coming out of the machines, not allowing them to freeze. We moved the machines further apart and hope that fixes it.

Then, we ran out of product at a certain point.  I felt so bad disappointing people.  We weren’t expecting to get such a great turnout.  Since we make our own product in house and it only has so long of a shelf life, we are still figuring out how much to make.  This will take us a while to figure out.  Most people understood but one guy was mean.  Oh well. We did the best we could.

We have wonderful Erika coming in at 6am today to start making the almond milk and base so that we have our Flavors for today. I thought the amount we made was going to get us through the entire weekend, but boy, was I wrong.  I only hope the 2 gallons of each flavor will get us through today!

There was one scary incident that happened with someone that had a nut allergy.  I really hope this boy is okay and I’m sending positive thoughts to him and his family. 

Now we prepare for Grand Opening – Day 2! 

       

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So Exhausted

It’s been a great week but I’m so exhausted.  It’s non-stop between Yoga-urt and my job.  I hope to get a good nights sleep so I can really enjoy this weekend.  

We had a great press event on Wednesdsy night and a good time with our Kenneth Village neighbors last night.  

I know that we will find our groove, but right now, we are somewhat scattered as we figure it out.  For example, last weekend at soft opening, I forgot to get cash for the register.  The machines are a learning curve and we are all learning how to make the smoothies.  I know this is typical for a new restaurant and I think once we get through this weekend, we will find our groove.

I’m nervous about the grand opening but excited too.  It will be interesting to see how people respond and how many show up.  

I need a yoga class so bad!!! It’s been a few weeks. I need a nap too!  If I get a nap, it’s usually around 7pm, so I have my 2nd wind for the night which usually goes until midnight.

I’m not complaining, but it’s a lot and I’m looking forward to the crazy slowing down a bit in the coming weeks as Yoga-urt hopefully starts to find it’s groove. 

Gratitude and Thank Yous

It was a great weekend, exhausting, but great!  So much to absorb and reflect on, but for now, here is a speech that I gave to my friends and family last night at Yoga-urt.

Thank you all for coming. I hope that you’ve enjoyed our Flavors and seeing the store!  

I want to take a moment to thank some people that supported me on this journey.

There are so many people to thank and everyone here has been a part of this journey with me or someone else in the room, and I thank you for that!

However, I do want to call out some people so I hope that you’ll bear with me.

From the SBA – Myron, Suzanne, Sahar, and of course Harold for helping me with my business plan over the last 4 years and ultimately, for giving me the loan to make this happen.

My other business consultants – Randy from score, Laurelle from LAVA, Regina for marketing, Anita from accounting, Greg McNally, and Corey Albert for their restaurant expertise and advise.

My yoga community which I love, but especially to Bekah and Christy from Yoga Blend. There would be no yoga-urt without them and the beautiful community that they have created, making all who go there feel loved and special, and empowering every student to know that they can manifest whatever they put their mind to.

Arielle for creating some yummy waffle cones.

Barbara for her fantastic interior design help and her support and friendship during this crazy process

Michelle, Erika, Carin, adolfo, Jen, and deidra for joining the yoga-urt team.

Cheryl for agreeing to be my General Manager and for believing in me and Yoga-urt. I’m so happy that you are on the team and thank you for looking out for me.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to create a product that was different than what was out there. Something non-dairy and delicious, organic, and as healthy as can be, while tasting good. That led me to Jim and Meredith, my R&D team.

I want to thank Jim & Meredith for believing in me and Yoga-urt and lending their expertise and friendship along this journey. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. I’m so proud of what we have created and I’m excited for our journey to continue as I know it will.

All of my family and friends who have listened to me talk about yoga-urt for the last 4 years, that’s right, 4 years. Have to call out a few – Danilo, Sally, Yoav, Lori, Lisa, Jennie, The Schulmans, the Mallahs, Dr. K, there are so many more too!

My sister Dawn, brother in law Kami and my niece and nephew for all the support and discussions over the years. From my 9 yr old nephew Dylan offering to give me all his money to my 12 year old niece Daniella dancing a yoga-urt commercial a few years back and wanting to interview my employees, to my sister and niece coming out last weekend to help, I really appreciate the support. 

Of course, my parents, who were not fully on board at first, but have come a long way and are 100% in now. Imagine telling your parents during a year that you’ve chosen not to work and were in a yoga bubble, that you want to open up a frozen yogurt store called yoga-urt. Not an easy conversation to have, but look how far we’ve come. I’ve loved being on this journey with them and watching them grow, just as I have.  

And finally, don’t think that I forgot you Brad. There would be no Yoga-urt without my cousin Brad. This all started over lunch 4 years ago when Brad insisted that yogurt was created by yoga, and I insisted that he was wrong. My cousin is very funny, and 45 minutes later, after us going back and forth a million times about what came first, Brad said that I should teach yoga, serve yogurt, and call it yoga-urt. We joked about pizza-lates too. Yes, that’s how it all started.  

That lunch took me on a journey that I could never have imagined. It has taken me on a leap of faith that only my spiritual and yoga journey could’ve prepared me for. There were times when I thought this would never happen. I had no money, no restaurant experience, just a passion for this like I’d never felt before. For me, this is more than an organic frozen store. It is a culmination of my life’s journey so far and something that I had to do.

My hope with yoga-urt is to make people happy and to build a supportive community. Then I will know that we succeeded.

I’m so glad that all of you are here and I hope that you’ll continue on this journey with me. Please come back, bring your friends, share it on Facebook, and let’s hope for exciting things to come.

Cheers!!!

1st Day Went Well!!!

Yesterday went really well!  The morning and leading up to our opening was crazy. We were all running around like crazy.  So much last minute shuffling.  It almost didn’t seem like we could get it together. Seriously.

But somehow, although about a half hour late, we opened our doors and we actually looked like we were ready.  We had a steady flow of customers almost throughout the whole day. Even in the rain. 

I was asking everyone if they liked it.  I know that they were probably not going to tell me no, but I couldn’t help but to ask.  The response was very positive. 

There was so much love and support from the community.  I’m so excited for this new part of my journey!

         

Soft Opening

Tomorrow is soft opening. Hard to believe.  I can’t believe that customers will be coming in tomorrow.  I’m nervous.  I’m excited. I’m exhausted. I’m a mix of everything. My baby is going out to the world, slowly but surely this week. 

I hope that it is received well, but that is out of my control. I do know that a lot of heart and soul went into it and I have a great team beside me. I hope that I can sleep tonight.  It’s a big weekend.  OMG!!!

The Pressure & Final Approvals

The pressure this week was off the charts.  Just crazy!!!!  I don’t know if anyone really knew how much I felt.  

We had to pass 7 inspections this week.  That’s right, 7!!!  

An article went out a few weeks ago that said our opening was on July 18th, plus, I sent out an invite for a friends/family party for Sunday night, and there are several things planned for next week as we approach Grand Opening on July 25/26. 

I had no guarantee that we would pass the inspections but I had to plan everything like we would.   Not to mention, I’ve never been through inspections before.  The health dept and milk/dairy scared me the most. Milk/dairy was to license us to be a manufacturing plant.  

My big goal this week was to pass inspections.  Everything came down to that.  Everything!  

Guess what, we passed every single inspection.  We just got final city an hour ago!!!!  It is surreal!!!

My GC scared me to death though.  He texted me that he had bad news.  For 5 minutes, as I waited for him to call me, I went into panick mode. 

I have to cancel the party. 

Notify everyone working this weekend. 

Put it on social media.  

Postpone everything.  
My heart was pounding.  Then I called him and it was a joke.  OMG!!! I started shaking.  Everything that built up all week went through my body at that moment.

I am so relieved and excited but there is so much to do today this weekend that I am just focusing on powering through.  

The troops are coming in to help and we will do the best we can to pull off this weekend.

Exciting!!!