Our First Month Open!!!

It’s been a month since we opened and so far so good!  It has been quite a learning experience so far. Learning about our production schedule, ordering food/supplies, our customers, our team, yelp, marketing, basic operations, the soft serve machines, the kettle, accounting and payroll, opening and closing, making our product, etc. Non-stop learning.

My favorite part is definitely seeing the reactions from our customers when they taste the product. It makes me so happy to see them happy. I also love when little kids ask for chocolate bliss and vanilla harmony, and the other flavors too.  It’s so cute!!! I love hearing them say bliss and harmony.  Melts my heart.  

We had a lot of changes to our initial team, but I’m so happy with everyone currently working at Yoga-urt.  It’s a great group.  Some of my team even came up with additions to our menu like iced tea, cold brewed coffee, chocolate waffle cones, and shakes.  Yummy!

We are hitting the numbers I projected so far, but I’m still very anxious to see where we are at the end of September.  That will be our first normal month with no start up costs, where I can truly see how 

  much money is coming in versus going out.

So many of my friends and family have been coming and I love it.  This also makes me very happy. My parents are so proud and definitely on the Yoga-urt bandwagon.

The only negativity really is some people who think our pricing is too high. Some are nice about it and some are not.  I understand that we may not be for everyone.  We definitely are more expensive than places like Yogurtland and Menchies, however, our product also offers many more health benefits.  The choice is theirs.

I’m really excited about what this next month will bring.  We really haven’t done a big marketing push yet due to lack of time and funds, so the word is slowly getting out. We have several things in store for September that I think our customers will like.  

September, here we come!!!

  

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The Word is Spreading

This was a big week for Yoga-urt. The word is slowly spreading, especially to the vegans in LA. There are a couple of vegans with really big followings who came to Yoga-urt recently, posted photos and love on Facebook and Instagram, and have truly made a difference for us. I have so much gratitude for them!

It is so gratifying when people come to the store and are blown away by our Flavors.  This happened many times today.  Vegans, in particular, are so happy and their reactions are priceless.  They can’t believe it!  It makes me feel so good to see their excitement and joy. The non-vegan people love it too which makes it that much sweeter.  I knew that they would!

PETA also found us this week, and I heard that they came in 3 days in a row.  So awesome!!!!

I’m so curious to see how all of this translates to customers, but I guess I’ll find out over the next few weeks.

On another topic, I had a very tough thing happen this week.  My cat, Lobo, passed away on Friday.  He had cancer, but was doing really well until he took a huge turn for the worse in a 24 hour period.  It was horrible and he is greatly missed. However, Lobo was with me during the four year journey to get Yoga-urt open (I had him for 10 years total) and I’m grateful that he saw me through.  Here’s to beautiful sweet Lobo.  May he rest in peace.

Catching Up!

Well, things have not slowed down yet.  It was crazy this week, but that’s mostly due to my niece’s bat mitzvah this past weekend and a client visit at my job this week.  I can’t blame it on Yoga-urt this time 🙂

The exciting news for this week is that some prominent vegan leaders found us and are spreading the word.  That’s exciting.  Our Instagram and Facebook pages have jumped which will hopefully translate into more people coming to our store.  

There was also a great article about Yoga-urt that came out this week by Vegan LA News.  It was very complimentary and I’m very grateful!

We officially got our plant license number today and we should be ready to sell pints from our store within the next week.  Yay for that!!!

A lot of my friends and family are visiting us which means a lot to me. I’m not always there when they come, but still so happy that they are coming.  

Another thing that I’m really grateful for is my back.  I’ve closed the store many times over the last few weeks and it’s very physical.  We have to bring in lots of tables/chairs as well as clean the frozen yogurt machines.  I would not have been able to do this 8-9 years ago.  I’m so grateful that my body is strong and doing great and a lot of that is due to yoga.

Speaking of yoga, I’ve barely been able to do it over the last few weeks. Too busy.  My goal is to take a class tomorrow and then definitely this weekend!!!

Two weeks Later

It’s been over 2 weeks since my last blog post and that’s because it has been non-stop for me.  Between my full-time job and Yoga-urt, it’s been 12-16 hour days for as long as I can remember.  The work never ends.  I’m not complaining as this is what I signed up for, but it’s a lot.  

I’m not sure where to begin but overall, the last 2 weeks have been good.  Our customers love our soft serve and smoothies.  I love seeing people’s reactions when they taste it. They are so happy. Most people are super nice and are glad that we exist.

We had some staff turnover at the store, but we are building a nice team and I am hopeful that will continue.

Our big thing now is to improve our operations.  Since we are making our own product from scratch, we need to improve our production schedule so that we make enough so that we don’t run out of Flavors, but not too much where we have to throw some out.  My soft serve team and I worked out a schedule and we are giving it a try this week. 

We are also working on a schedule for ordering all of the ingredients, toppings, paper goods, cleaning supplies, etc. All of the prep work was done, 

but now we are actually seeing how many people come in.  Hope to have that nailed down soon.  

Our sales have been pretty good.  There’s room for improvement for sure, but for 3 weeks in, they are good.  The trick right now is to get our name out there and to explain how unique and special our product is. All of this is marketing and with my limited time and budget, I will be focusing on that in the coming weeks.

Yesterday, the health inspector came out to give us our letter grading.  We got an A.  Yay!!! That was a relief.  I can’t believe that I opened a restaurant with an A rating.  Pretty crazy!   

My hope is that in a few weeks, things will normalize and I can have a more balanced life.  I might be fooling myself, but that is the hope.