Black Bear Frozen Yogurt & Espresso Expands Across Washington

Frozen yogurt and espresso chain will grow from three to seven locations by January

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (October 22, 2012) — Black Bear Frozen Yogurt & Espresso , headquartered in Lakewood, Wash., is rapidly expanding the number of its stores. Since launching in 2010, Black Bear opened a second Lakewood location and a shop in Yakima just this year. Four additional stores will open in Pierce and King Counties by January at Lakewood Towne Center, Tacoma Place Shopping Center, Southcenter Square and in Puyallup.

The business model caters to niche target customers and selects locations in high traffic retail areas based upon anchor tenants like movie theaters and restaurants.

“We’re grateful for how well we’ve been received in the communities where we already do business,” said Jesse Roberge, Black Bear’s founder and owner. “Customers enjoy our café atmosphere and comfortable locations, each of which has a fireplace. In addition to frozen yogurt and espresso, Black Bear also serves smoothies, blended beverages and pastries.”

While many businesses are trimming budgets and postponing expansion, Black Bear is growing despite the challenges of the slow economy. “During a downturn, we’ve found that consumers are still interested in little luxuries such as frozen yogurt and espresso drinks, especially if they’re provided with great customer service,” noted Roberge. “Both of those factors have been key to our ongoing success.”

Planning for future growth, Black Bear recently began the process to secure franchising rights and will be able to franchise in 2014.

“We are thrilled to see businesses like Black Bear that were first established in our city continuing to expand into new markets,” notes Becky Newton, economic development specialist for the City of Lakewood. “The city’s economic development team is here to support Blear Bear and other businesses achieve their goals.”

About Lakewood, Washington

Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the eighteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state’s capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 3,200 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray, two major military installations. In 2012, Lakewood was named one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the sixth year. In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. These include: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; four golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few. The city also is the gateway to: Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands.

Kate Hudson, Frause
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