Pinkberry – The lean, team, FroYoMachine…

Korean Americans Shelly Whang and Young Lee launched Pinkberry in 2005, and along with it a cult. The idea behind the concept was to revive the 1980´s frozen yoghurt craze. The first Pinkberry was set up on Huntley Drive of West Hollywood and quickly gathered a large fan base, eagerly lining up outside. The line became a social event and a place to see and be seen. This trait has made Pinkberry a frequently featured brand in the paparazzi-realm, creating a great, powerful marketing tool, for the brand and endorsing celebs alike.

The real take-off for Pinkberry started in 2007, with $27.5M venture cap from Maveron, the venture fund founded by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, to expand the firm’s concept nationwide. Along with second round of funding in 2009 came plans for international launch.

Today, the Pinkberry franchise network boasts over 100 stores, mainly located on either the West or the East U.S coast. Recent developments include expansions to new markets in Southern U.S, to Mexico and South America, Middle East, Moscow and Vancouver.

The store decor is designer sleek yet inviting, with Philippe Starck furniture, Le Klint lighting and popping rich, high-gloss pastels.

The in-store supply chain is neat and has the following steps 1.) hanging out in the crammed waiting line

2.) ordering, paying, telling your name. The order and name is printed as a sticky ticket and stuck onto a cup….

3.) a new member of staff continues to help you with the personal customization – you choose your own mix of froyo flavor and toppings…This element of the process is the considered the height of the experience, and is often documented as a testimonial/proof of lost Pinkberry-virginity, such as below:

4.) If order input is great, there might be a slight delivery lag. To avoid wait at the counter, you will be alerted when its ready by yet another member of staff calling your name (by simply checking the name at the cup).

The lean, team, froyo-machine Pinkberry is great proof of how needs not only need to be met – but also need to be redefined/invented. The rise of Pinkberry stems from so much more than a crave for frozen yoghurt. USP´s are summarized in the lyrics of the official Pinkberry tune starting with “Sorry Ice Cream, I´m dreaming of a different dessert” and continues with statements like “Cuz it´s healthy”/ “Guilt Free” / “I like it in the rain – or in the wintertime” / “Good with a friend, with a lover or alone” Listen to the clip here:

The Hollywood connection creates not only a beneficial transfer of some glitz and glam, but a constant buzz of Pinkberry tweets and check-ins. Consequently, Pinkberry has been listed among the best “Social Media Restaurant Brands” of the U.S. The Pinkberry entourage is of all ages and passionate about the product, knowing the popularity of the brand, celebs aren´t shy of posing with the brand either.

A tongue-in-cheek sense of humor has developed to describe the craze. The nickname CrackBerry circulates the Web and entertaining user-created clips addressing the PinkBerry phenomenon are out on YouTube.


Thankyou for the Tacos @ Tacombi

Opened in September of 2010, taco haunt Tacombi Fonda Nolita is soon about to celebrate its 1st birthday. I say congrats! The Mexican beach theme is perfected to Disneyesque standards. Yet, a kind of inherent grittyness, touching upon a rough streak in the Mexican heritage, evens out the balance.

A sleek taco hang during the day, Tacombi morphs into fiesta mode in the evening, chanelling a beach party wibe. The restaurant stems from what was initially Mexican taco-bus concept christened a Tacombi (derived from from Taco and the VolksWagen bus model Combi).

Started by entrepreneur Dario Wolos and with chef Aarón Sanchez as culinary wing man, the Fonda Nolita serves great tacos and a great experience. Seems reasonable to believe that the opening of the Elisabeth Street venue will be the beginning of a successful the Tacombi bus tour…The mantra of Peace, love and Tacos seems a great recipe for retail success.

Read a review in New York Magazine

See it for yourself:

267, Elisabeth Street, NYC

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