Tuesday Jul 05 2011
Double the sweets, double the treats
By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
Local franchisee puts cupcakes, frozen yogurt under one roof
One local frozen yogurt shop just got a little sweeter with the addition of a nationally recognized cupcake franchise. FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt recently joined forces with SmallCakes to double the options of sweet treats at its Roseville location in the Rocky Ridge Town Center on Douglas Boulevard. If you are a fan of the Food Network show “Cupcake Wars,” you may have heard of SmallCakes. Company founder Jeff Martin was a competitor on the show last season and finished in second place, after neglecting to include the key ingredient in his pumpkin cupcake during the finale. Since then, Martin has been featured on The View and invited back to compete in season four of “Cupcake Wars,” which will begin taping in November. Local franchisee Tony Morabito has partnered with Martin, turning the Roseville FreshBerry/SmallCakes store into a regional training center for entrepreneurs looking to buy into the business. “I saw the opportunity to differentiate ourselves from all the good yogurt players in this community,” Morabito said. “Having gourmet cupcakes and great frozen yogurt product under the same roof, in my eyes, is a pretty neat little thing.” FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt has been open for a little more than one year, and Morabito made the decision to create a co-brand by bringing in SmallCakes. He officially started serving cupcakes on June 23. SmallCakes features 15 varieties of cupcakes daily, ranging from the popular red velvet cupcake to exotic recipes such as the drumstick — a vanilla-based cupcake with chocolate on the inside, white butter cream, chopped nuts and chocolate syrup drizzle. The banana crème pie cupcake is injected with banana pudding with house-made banana frosting and vanilla wafers on top. Morabito said the company is known to have a very moist cupcake. So moist in fact, each cupcake is served with a fork. Customer Erin Mirecki, of Roseville, was trying her first SmallCakes cupcake last week and especially liked the carrot cake flavor. “I liked that it was really fluffy and light,” Mirecki said. “There was a good amount of frosting on the regular-sized one. I thought it was a tasty cupcake.” Her mother, Eddia Mirecki, also of Roseville, said she likes the idea of supporting local entrepreneurs — and the cream cheese frosting. Morabito said in order for his business to succeed, he needed to create a partnership with the community. To do this, he brought in strategic partners John and Charity Schmidt, their daughter Kiersten, and Jim and Wendy Colton, all long-time residents of the Roseville and Granite Bay area. “To be a successful restaurant owner, you have to have a passion for what you do,” Morabito said. “You have to have a clear understanding of your community, and how to market to that community.” Morabito said FreshBerry/SmallCakes is very involved with Bayside Church and local school boards, and the company does sponsorships with local schools and Boy Scout troops. “If you’re going to provide any food service to your community, you really have to be involved in the community,” Morabito said. “I think we show that through the ownership group that we’ve put together.” Morabito said the company is involved in some franchise portals that find people who are qualified and looking to get into the franchise industry. The Roseville location will serve as a training center for future franchisees throughout California, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. “We’re in this to really develop the brand here nationally, and we’ve actually picked Roseville to do that,” said. “We think this is a great community to highlight and showcase a training store.” Toby Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. ---------- Fresh Berry/Small Cakes 2030 Douglas Blvd., Ste 16. (916) 774-0000 Store Hours: Monday — Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.