"There weren't many places to go for treats with our kids," says Ada resident, Dianna Darling. "The options out there used processed, frozen food. There was room to do something better." And so began the story of Spoonlickers
Having identified a need in the community for a healthier alternative, Darling and her family wasted no time in getting their flagship business, Spoonlickers Handcrafted Frozen Yogurt (400 Ada Dr., Suite D, Ada) up and running last Memorial Day weekend.
Business was so brisk, they opened another shop in Grand Rapids (1971 East Beltline NE, Suite 104) in October, and a third shop in Eastown (1551 Wealthy St. SE) in January. All told, the three locations employ 50 people.
But wait -- they're not done yet!
On May 1, Spoonlickers goes mobile, bringing its tasty treats to the customer, instead of the other way around. "We'll have the same equipment and soft-serve machines, but everything will be mobile," says Darling. "We'll cater to private events, parties, and festivals."
Every tasty treat is handcrafted from locally grown or produced ingredients. Each location has its own kitchen where delicious recipes come to life. "We make yogurt with real fruit and real cream, and we make our own toppings, too," says Darling. "We even make marshmallows from scratch."
From idea to construction, it takes about three months to get a 1,500-square-foot Spoonlickers shop up and running. The Darlings had considered franchises, but were turned off by the plethora of corporate requirements and restrictions.
"We wanted full creative control," says Darling. "It was a quick decision, a quick process. We had solid connections in the area that helped things go fast."
The Darlings have a humble goal: to employ people and for each location to pay for itself. Anything beyond that would be icing on the cake.
Source: Diane Darling, Spoonlickers
Writer: Victoria Mullen, Do Good Editor