FreshBerry frozen yogurt franchise opportunity is aggressively marketed and sold by Beautiful Brands International (BBI).
As of 3/5/15, it appears that out of a total of 31 U.S. franchise locations, 24 Freshberry locations have closed and only 7 remain open. Some of the most recent closures had been listed for sale, unsuccessfully, at prices well below the estimated start-up costs of $165,750 to $386,200.
In our opinion, Beautiful Brands did a masterful job getting publications such as Tulsa World, QSR & Fast Casual to promote FreshBerry as a franchise success story.
It also appears to us that the number of U.S. FreshBerry locations that have opened and closed has exceeded the number of FreshBerrys that are still open for business.
Of course, we are drawing this information from publicly available sources (the company franchise disclosure document, websites, articles). We have asked the company for verification of accuracy and completeness, but have not yet heard back from them.
Many U.S. FreshBerrys have closed than are currently open
According to the 2012 FreshBerry Franchise Disclosure Document, the total investment necessary to open a FreshBerry franchise unit is $165,750 to $386,200, including a $25,000 franchise fee and a $5,000 to $6,000 for materials, payable to BBI.
Each FreshBerry franchise closure potentially could represent the loss of the approximately $165,750 to $386,200 initial investment, and also the capital added while trying to keep the business open, a settlement with the landlord on the remaining lease term, and other expenses and liabilities. It could mean personal bankruptcy and loss of assets and credit scores for the franchisee.
Investigation by UnhappyFranchisee.Com has revealed that the number of FreshBerry franchises that have closed has reached the number that are open:
|FreshBerry Stores Open (US)*||Freshberry Stores Closed (US)*|
FL Bradenton (new owner)
NC Raleigh (Hillsborough St.)
NC Wilmington (Univ. Commons)
CA Carson City
FL Miami (Flagler St.)
FL S. Miami (SW 57th Ave)
IL Chicago (E. Ontario)
NC Raleigh (Six Forks Rd.)
OK Tulsa (11085 S. Memorial)
SC Mount Pleasant
SD Rapid City
TX Dallas (Park Lane)
TX Houston (Vintage Pk Blvd)
TX Farmer’s Branch/Dallas
Hundreds of FreshBerry franchises were reportedly sold, but not opened
For the past few years, we have read the gleeful announcements of huge expansion deals and franchise packages sold by Beautiful Brands, yet haven’t seen much about the franchise units ever opening.
On 12/23/09, QSR wrote that BBI announced that it would be expanding into Virginia & Maryland through a 100 unit franchise expansion deal.
“Virginia and Maryland are a big part of our overall expansion strategy,” David Rutkauskas, Beautiful Brands founder, president, and CEO, was quoted as saying.
As of 1/10/13, the number of FreshBerry locations open in Virginia and Maryland is 0.
April 1, 2010, BBI announced a franchise deal to open 275 Freshberry franchises and 275 Rex’s Chicken franchises throughout throughout Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, and Arkansas.
“Without a doubt, this is the largest deal in BBI’s history,” David Rutkauskas told QSR magazine. “The appeal of both concepts tops the charts as golden opportunity franchises and solid investments in two clearly defined industry segments.”
As of 1/10/13, the number of FreshBerry locations open in Oklahoma (1), Colorado (0), New Mexico (0), Kansas (0), Missouri (0), Texas (1), and Arkansas (0) is 2.
Rex’s Chicken has 1 company store in OK, and 0 in the other states mentioned.
6/17/10, BBI announced “a major five-state development deal between BBI and Frozen Dreams Franchise Group (FDFG), which calls for at least 300 new FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt Cafés within Central California, Northern California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah. “
QSR quoted David Rutkauskas as saying “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Frozen Dreams to reach this geographical milestone and continue making our western growth strategy a sweet success.”
As of 1/10/13, two and a half years later, the number of FreshBerry locations open in California (3), Arizona (0), Nevada (2), Idaho (0), and Utah (0) is 5.
In 2010 & 2011, QSR magazine repeatedly reported that Beautiful Brands International had more than 1000 FreshBerry franchises “in development.”
As of 1/10/13, the FreshBerry website lists 16 U.S. Freshberry locations and 26 International FreshBerry locations: a total of 42 locations.
What happened to the more than 958 locations that were announced, then never mentioned again?
UnhappyFranchisee.Com extends its condolences and best wishes to the owners and staff of the closed FreshBerry franchises, and to the investors in FreshBerry franchises that never opened.
* Estimated, as of 4/24/14. We have asked the company for verification of accuracy and completeness, but have not yet heard back from them. Some stores may have gone independent & rebranded rather than closed completely.
ALSO read about CHERRYBERRY Franchise Closures 2012
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TAGS: FreshBerry, FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt, FreshBerry franchise, FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt Franchise, Froyo, Froyo franchise, Frozen Yogurt franchise, Beautiful Brands International, David Rutkauskas, franchise failures, franchise closures, franchise graveyard, Unhappy Franchisee, QSR magazine, Fast Casual, Tulsa World