OH SO FRO-YO GOOD
The swirl of creamy desserts topped with candies and cookies is just one reason two local entrepreneurs dipped into the frozen yogurt business.
Owners Joseph Bullen and Mitchell Chappell say the idea to open a frozen yogurt shop came after they saw a need in Natchez.
Chappell said many surrounding cities, such as Baton Rouge, Jackson, Brookhaven and McComb, have self-serve frozen yogurt locations.
Chappell, who has a master’s in business from Alcorn State University, and Bullen, who will finish his master’s at ASU in May, say they studied the local market and decided it could support a frozen yogurt shop.
“We’re business-minded people, and I’ve always liked frozen yogurt and ice cream, and Natchez just didn’t have one,” Chappell said. “We wanted to do something new and fun and positive for Natchez, because Natchez needed something like this.”
DeliciYoso is not a franchise but is similar to franchises such as Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Yogurt Mountain or Red Mango that have sprung up across the country in recent years.
“(DeliciYoso) is something we developed and designed, and we did the logo ourselves, but we based it on a very common business model that’s really hit the nation like a storm in the past decade,” Chappell said. “We just didn’t have one here.”
Customers make their own frozen yogurt concoctions by choosing from an array of frozen yogurt flavors from sea salt pretzel to strawberry sensation and toppings, including gummy blue sharks and Sno-Caps.
Chappell said his favorite flavor is white chocolate mousse topped with cookie dough, granola and maybe a few M&M’s Minis. Bullen is a fan of the birthday cake frozen yogurt.
The appeal of frozen yogurt, Bullen said, attracts a variety of different customers.
“Young people, older people, couples, co-workers, we have a variety of different groups that come in,” he said. “It’s a place where people can come together in a cool, new environment and enjoy a good product.”
The response since DeliciYoso opened nearly three weeks ago has been “astounding,” Chappell said.
“Natchez has really gotten behind us,” Chappell said. “We have been super excited by the amount of people coming in and the responses people have been giving us. They’ve been telling us positive things.”
Chappell, 25, and Bullen, 27, both work for First Natchez Radio Group, but say the jump into the frozen yogurt business was an easy one.
“We always talk about something new and fun coming to Natchez, and why don’t people do it?” Chappell said. “Well, it depends on whether they have support when they come here. That’s what we wanted to do, something new and fun, and Natchez has supported us. It’s been great, and we really appreciate everyone.”
Chappell and Bullen say they plan to open another DeliciYoso in Concordia Parish before the end of the year.
“You’ll see more coming soon, very soon,” Bullen said.
DeliciYoso, located in the Tracetown Shopping Center, is open noon-10 p.m. daily.