My INTENSE Year

How do I summarize this year, the year that Yoga-urt opened after a 5 year journey? It has been a year for me like no other, that’s for sure. 

I was trying to come up with one word to summarize it and although I could pick words like gratitude, exciting, exhausting, joyous, challenging, magical, momentous – the word that I keep coming back to is INTENSE! This year has been intense in every way!

Getting the loan was intense. Securing and finalizing the lease was intense. Picking contractors and designers was intense. Construction was intense. Inspections were intense. The opening was VERY intense. Working my full-time job and juggling Yoga-urt throughout all of this was and continues to be intense. All of the celebrations and challenges were intense. The response from the public was intense. It has been an INTENSE roller coaster ride!

Work was the entire focus of my life this past year. It had to be. I didn’t take any vacations. Saw only 2 movies all year (yes, Star Wars was one of them), didn’t go to any concerts (including missing Madonna), barely watched TV, and barely saw my family and friends unless I work with them, it was a holiday, or they visited me at Yoga-urt. 

However, here is what I did do. I secured a loan after trying to get funding for 4 years. I found a space for Yoga-urt and signed a lease. I found some great restaurant consultants, designers, and employees. I created a beautiful relaxing space. I passed 7 city/health inspections in one week. I got Yoga-urt licensed as a manufacturing plant. I brought a brand to life. I did radio interviews. I did marketing. I challenged myself in so many ways. I opened a f**cking restaurant!!! Not too bad 🙂

I met so many wonderful customers I couldn’t even begin to touch on that here, but I’ve enjoyed speaking to every single one! The response from the public has been overwhelming and I am so appreciative about how Yoga-urt has been embraced.

This was the year when I was given the opportunity to move closer to who I really am and the life that I want, instead of letting fear hold me back. This is the year that I put myself and my dream out into the world in a way that I never have before. I was vulnerable and in that found my strength.

I know that I surprised many people in my life this year as there were many who didn’t know I could do this. I also know that there were many who did. The support that I received from my family, friends, and co-workers has been AMAZING!!! So many people visited me at the store and championed me through all of it. 

Special shout out to my parents who have been with me every step of the way this past year. Their support and guidance has been a gift, and to have them truly see the magic of Yoga-urt, which they do, makes me so happy as it wasn’t always that way. I know that they are so proud of me and will continue this journey with me.

In closing, I will say that I am very proud of myself. I’m proud that I never gave up, that I pushed through fear every time it appeared (which was a lot), and against all odds, I made it happen. I learned a lot about myself through both my mistakes and my successes, and hope that I continue to learn and grow as this journey continues.

I still don’t know if Yoga-urt will “succeed” as it takes a full year to know this. However, what I do know is that it has made a lot of people happy and that it was something that I HAD to do, my calling. 

 I’ve said this before, but if I can do this, then I truly believe that anyone can do anything they set their minds to with a lot of hard work and perseverance.

I still have big dreams for Yoga-urt, always have. This whole journey has been a leap of faith and I will continue to have faith that all of my dreams are possible. 

I am so excited to see what 2016 has in store for Yoga-urt and I hope that everyone will be a part of this journey with me.

Namaste! 

    My Family

   Some of my Yoga-urt Team

   My Friends & Co-Workers

  My Yoga Friends

  More Family & Friends & Yogis

 Construction 

 Top 9 photos on Instagram for 2015

#yogaurt #nourishyourself #softserve #froyo #organic #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #plantbased #dairyfree #probiotics #icecream #glendale #thankyou #2015

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A Moment

I had one of those moments today where I took it all in, for just a moment. 

I opened the store this morning and that means taking a quick taste of all of the Flavors to make sure that they are all are working properly and taste good. I blew myself away. Every single one of them was so good!  I don’t taste the soft serve that often and so I forget how good it is. So yummy!!!! Plus, the chocolate bliss and pumpkin spice swirl was better than I thought it would be. Delicious!!!

A brought some pints to my Aunt and Uncle’s Christmas brunch and the reaction from the 20 people there was extremely positive. They were all blown away that it was non-dairy. Couldn’t believe it. I heard that a few times this weekend from some of our customers too.

It’s moments like these when I know that all of my hard work was and is worth it. Even though we’ve slowed down this month, the soft serve speaks for itself. We nailed it.  

     

 

Mid-December

Not surprisingly, December is not the most friendly month for frozen yogurt stores. It’s the coldest darkest month, and soft serve is not the first thing that one craves in this weather.  

We’ve definitely slowed down and it’s very challenging, but I will get us through. I’ll be so happy when it gets lighter and warmer, and although Winter Solstice has special meaning for me as I left a job I was at for 11 years on this day right before the Yoga-urt journey began, this brings it to a whole new level. The light will start to come back in a few days and I will be so grateful.

With that being said, people are still coming to Yoga-urt and that means so much. I appreciate every single person. 

We had the first Yoga-urt holiday party this week. Hard to believe! We went skating at Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale. It was a lot of fun and it’s a great group of people. We’ve come a long way in the last 5 months, and this team helped to make it happen, as did many others.

Here’s to the light coming back and all of the magic that it will bring!

  

Thanksgiving Weekend

I just had 5 days off of my day job. For those that don’t know, I still have a full-time job as a Producer at a design company on a very intense project with close to 30 people on the team. It’s a great job, but as you can imagine, juggling it with Yoga-urt is not easy. To say that I work pretty much non-stop between the two is not an exaggeration.

I thought with 5 days off and only working in the store at Yoga-urt for one of them, I would have some downtime. Although I did get to spend 2 days of fun with my family for Thanksgiving, I’m not sure why I thought the rest would be downtime. 

I had to order some things for the store, deal with a broken prep table, get my notes together for the Yoga-urt postcard/flyer, make some payments, prepare for a bookkeeper, do social media, other marketing plans including remembering that I have to send out the December newsletter for Yoga-urt. 

Also, personally, I had two things that I needed to do. I did one of them, but not the other 😦

The good news is that I got some sleep, some nice yoga classes and good walks, and had a great time with my family.

I even brought Yoga-urt pints to my sister’s in Orange County for Thanksgiving. A lot of her in-laws were there and so they got to taste it for the first time. They seemed to really like it! 

I go back to work tomorrow and the juggling continues, but thankful for all of it.

I’m so grateful for my family, friends, health, job, and of course Yoga-urt and the great community that we are building. It makes it all worth it!