About Tifa Chocolate & Gelato
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The Sweet Rewards of the Frozen Dessert Industry
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Learn Now About the Potential of the Frozen Dessert Industry
It All Started in 2007 With a Little Cart in
We’d been selling chocolate tasting kits online with, unfortunately, very little success. We needed to get in front of people. Then they’d be able to taste our passion—artisan chocolates from around the world.
The cart, just outside a Nordstrom, certainly got us in front of people. Hundreds of mall patrons walked by us every day. But we noticed something very upsetting.
They weren’t just walking by. They scurried. They skulked. They avoided eye contact. But why? After some careful assessment, we figured it out.
Many of the other cart operators at the mall were so aggressive, they actually scared mall patrons. No wonder people avoided us!
We needed a new plan.
Teaching People the Joys of Real Chocolate
After much searching, we found a solution—a defunct donut shop we could open in our area. Now, we could proudly display all our favorite artisan bars with room to spare for bonbons and our newfound passion… gelato!
The new store only had room for three tables, and the four of us together covered the hours of operation for the new Tifa Chocolate & Gelato seven days a week. We were still small, but we were growing. High school students discovered our shop, and had dubbed Denise “Mama Tifa,” because she was in her element.
She’d ask, “Do you know what chocolate tastes like?”
“Of course I do!” they’d answer, sure they really had tasted true chocolate. Mama Tifa knew a secret, though.
With a shake of her head, Mama Tifa would say, “Close your eyes,” and give them artisan chocolate bars or gelato flavors to sample. “Concentrate on the flavors as they unfold. This is what a real dessert tastes like. Not the chemicals you get from a squeeze bottle.”
The kids loved it, and Mama Tifa became a minor celebrity among them and their friends. She was the first person to introduce them to the nuanced flavors in quality desserts.
Soon, they were bringing in their parents and grandparents, and anyone else they could convince to come try our dessert shop.
What Would Mama Tifa Do?
When we arrived at the dessert shop, we never would have predicted what was happening.
The Lawrences, a local family who’d become regulars, had stepped behind the counter to help customers! Even their youngest, too short to scoop gelato, were in the back helping with the dishes!
The obvious lesson was we needed more employees.
The bigger takeaway, however, was the incredible value in forming these bonds with our customers.
The Lawrences took time out of their evening to help out our employee to ease his panic.
They were serving our other customers the flavors of our desserts they’d come to love, and were doing so because they cared about our dessert shop and its reputation.
They pitched in simply because they wanted to help us and our shop in a time of need.
The relationships we’ve built with our customers have been at the heart of the Tifa Chocolate & Gelato dessert shop business model ever since.
We carry that forward with our frozen dessert franchises, because that’s what Mama Tifa would do.
Tifa Chocolate & Gelato Dessert Shop Franchises Today
We’ve learned some hard lessons. Some have shown us the amazing depth of our relationships with our customers and each other. Many are unique to us, while others are pretty common to anyone starting a brand new business.
One of the things we’ve truly enjoyed about franchising our frozen dessert shop is that we get to pass on what we’ve learned to our franchisees so they can avoid some of the pitfalls and foibles we’ve endured.
The franchise model we’ve developed doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges, but the rewards should outweigh the challenges, and we’re all in it together. The Tifa Chocolate & Gelato commitment to engaging with our customers and creating a strong community bond has never been stronger. Our franchisees and employees are the embodiment of that commitment as we all work hard to be the best part of someone’s day!