Thanks to Penn National Gaming for their donation to help cover our next business.. Yodels Frozen Yogurt (Muskegon, MI).
Yodels Frozen Yogurt is a locally owned self serve frozen yogurt shop. They are not a franchise, but they strive to provide the highest quality product and outstanding customer service in a clean and friendly environment.
We started Yodels Frozen Yogurt back in 2016 in North Muskegon, Mi. My wife was tired of her 9-5 job in human resources at Lowe's. She wanted a job where we were in control. This idea for self serve froyo had been in a manila folder in my desk for a few years so we decided to take a chance and go for it. We have been very much accepted by the community and we have been pretty profitable since day 1. Obviously, 2020 changed all of that very quickly. We closed down for April 2020. The next few months were very slow for us. We were forced to convert to full serve so it took the fun right out of our business. We don't have a drive through or even the ability to have one in our location. This killed us. Local ice cream shops with drive thru's had 20 cars in line all night long. We would have 2 cars in our parking lot. It was beyond frustrating. To add to the frustration, we signed a lease on our 2nd location in February 2020, right before the crap hit the fan and they shut everything down. Instead of having our grand opening in April, it got pushed back to August 17th giving us only a couple weeks of good sales before things crashed when schools were back in session. We would have been in a much better position if our contractors would have been able to continue the build out of our location during the spring. Unfortunately, those in charge in Michigan felt it was dangerous for them to do so. Just for the record, our contractors don't hug on the job and one does not hold the nail while the other is hammering it. They would have been quite safe during our buildout. I digress. Long story short, instead of having sales during May, June, July and August….we have sales for a few weeks at the end of August, thus adding to our conundrum. Some don't realize that businesses like ours make a lot of money during the warm months so that we can use that money during the cold months to keep things going. That money was not there this year. One of the things that has really helped us a lot this year is the huge heart of my son Brandon. He is 21 and is managing our new location. This has been the plan all along. He was going to make a good salary along with quarterly bonuses based on his stores performance. When all of this Covid crap happened, he took it upon himself to tell me that he would be taking a good size pay cut and that he wouldn't accept a raise or any of his potential bonuses until we got our feet back under us. He is working hourly and even tries to not clock in when he is getting the shop setup so that he can save us a 1/2 hour of payroll. Same thing at night. He will clock out right at closing time and then work off the clock to close down the shop of the night. As a dad, I couldn't be more proud. He's got the biggest heart in the world. He knows that we are not doing well and is willing to take it on the chin to help us. I always tell him that I am keeping track of the pay that he is lost and will get it back to him when we can. He tells me he won't accept it. It will probably come down to me just transferring money into his account and not telling him. I hope some kind of normalcy comes along later this year so I can get him what he is owed. My wife and I continue to work a lot of hours to keep our two shops open. We've had to cut the hours back of all of our employees but luckily haven't laid anyone off.