A delightful, inviting smell fills the room of Menchie’s frozen yogurt shop located over by the Legends Outlets on Sparks Boulevard. Owner Roland Trub and an employee are getting ready to open for business at noon and the rows of frozen yogurt and bins of various toppings wait for customers to come indulge.
Opening in August 2015, Trub was looking for franchise opportunities and was drawn to Menchie’s because of its unique business plan.
“I love their approach, mission, integrity, and support at the corporate level,” he says. Trub attended a Menchie’s Discovery Days event where corporate introduces potential franchisees to its business model, and Trub was hooked.
“They held it at one of their fairly small offices- there were only 80-90 people at that particular branch and we had to follow a circular hallway that led to the conference room. All of the employees were standing around the perimeter and we shook every single person’s hand,” says Trub. He said that the conference room was jam-packed and everyone went around and introduced themselves, sharing their story of why they are interested in investing in a Menchie’s. “We spent the next 2.5 hours relating to each other,” he adds.
Originally from Switzerland, Trub came to the US in 1991 after serving as an exchange student in Calaveras, California. He went to school at CSU, Chico and studied graphic design before going back to Switzerland and then moving to Denver, Colorado. There, he owned a popular skincare franchise known as The Body Shop and opened a toy store. Finding that the toy store was opposite of a franchise, he wanted to get back into that type of business model.
“I moved to Sparks for Menchie’s. I looked at locations in Washington State and California, but I thought it could work well here,” says Trub. “I didn’t know anything about this area but I saw an opportunity and thought there was room for another frozen yogurt shop. The people here are open, friendly, and unpretentious; I chose this location because of the market and demographics,” he adds.
Being right off of Sparks Boulevard and so close to a bustling shopping center helps, but they do have a challenge with its visibility. “Business is picking up- the people who come here love the product, our team is amazing, and we get recognized. We get lots of word-of-mouth referrals. Our mission statement is, ‘We make you smile’, and we do it with an awesome product and being great with people,” he says.
To help get the word out about Menchie’s, Trub will donate to a Local Cares program serving food to the homeless and incentive programs to local businesses and students. The Menchie’s Corner shows bookmarks with kids’ photos who have reached certain goals in school and received some free frozen yogurt.
“We give high 5’s cards to teachers, coaches, and others for their recognition programs and with it they get their first five ounces of frozen yogurt free,” Trub says. “They love it- a lot of times they pay it all out of pocket so (the administrators) are really appreciative of it.”
Menchie’s also gives teachers 20 percent off and hosts an event every day for them during Teachers Appreciation Week.
“Our contribution is who we are as a business, we are very transparent and welcoming. We see it all the time where families come in and they’ve had a long day and the kids come in and light up. Everyone who comes in gets something, too, whether that be a sticker or 3D puzzle,” he says.
Along with enjoying getting to know his customers, Trub is always trying to think of ways to contribute to his employees’ bigger career goals. He recognizes that this isn’t always a long term career choice for many of his young staff because there is no room really to grow, so he thinks about how he can add to their resumes.
“Lily is passionate about animals, so we’re looking at doing a fundraiser for the local humane society. She would be way more effective than me at doing that,” Trub says. “Audrey is a photographer, so maybe she can be the one capturing birthday parties and catered events. Rachel is an artist, so she designs the cakes.”
As we get into summer, Trub would love to do some special events outside of his store. He starts throwing out ideas of what could be possible at Menchie’s. “I would love to do an art show reception with kids and music, set up a stage in the parking lot where live bands could play and entertain,” he says. “Or what if this were the hub for carpools, parents going between the baseball fields? I would love to take over a few parking spots and create a sanctuary in the concrete jungle.”
About the product itself- Menchie’s serves 14 flavors of frozen yogurt, with Vanilla Snow being its most popular. “We always have low-carb, no sugar, dairy-free offerings and our milk is not treated with any growth hormones- they come from happy California cows,” says Trub. All of its new products are Clean Label, meaning that its products are made of all real, simple ingredients. “(Menchie’s) is a healthy choice- our frozen yogurt has live, active cultures and probiotics. We keep ingredients lists available and are conscious of allergies,” he says.
“I eat it every day, I love it,” Trub adds. His favorite combination is green apple tart with original tart topped with almonds, Reece’s peanut butter sauce and fruit. He says that at 120 calories for four ounces of the non-fat treat, the only bad thing is the Reece’s sauce.
“You can come here and have a completely healthy, non-fat lunch,” says Trub. Menchie’s is located at 435 Sparks Boulevard #101 and is open daily from 12-10 p.m.