On a hot summer day, frozen yogurt may be the first thing on people’s’ minds. But for YoYo’s Owners, Matt and Alice Pommier, frozen yogurt is just the catalyst for other great experiences.
Matt and Alice, who also own Mahomet Landscapes, purchased the property located on IL 47 just south of Walgreens and across the street from Sangamon Elementary more than two years ago. At the time, they were not sure what to do with the property.
“Mahomet needs a lot of things, people have been asking for a lot of things.” Alice said. “Whenever we go somewhere, we’re always scouting out the FROYO location. My daughter attended Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi and they have a place called YaYa’s. It’s one of our favorites.”
As Matt and Alice talked about their love for quality frozen yogurt, Matt suggested renovating and adding onto the small building that existed on the property to create a frozen yogurt shop in Mahomet.
“And I just jumped on board and said, ‘OK, if that’s what you want to do,” Alice said.
Eight months later, on the weekend before the Fourth of July, Mahomet residents flooded the long-awaited frozen yogurt venue when temperatures called for a cool treat.
The Pommiers held a soft opening with family from Kanakee where they worked out the kinks to the yogurt-buying process before Sunday’s opening. While the couple believed they might be able to open during the spring of 2017, construction on the site hit a few snags, but Alice said an opening a month later than they expected is okay.
“There is comfort in coming every day and grabbing a paintbrush,” Alice said. “There’s no pressure. But when you start talking about opening, and people getting a first impression, there is more to think about. But Matt assured me we were ready.”
“I don’t know if you ever really know what to expect (when opening a business),” she continued. “I kind of expected that there would be quite a few people in the start.”
With backgrounds in design, building, and architecture, the Pommiers set a big vision for their frozen yogurt space when they started to envision what the space may look like. Both indoor and outdoor seating was filled through the days leading up to the Fourth of July.
“(This vision) is probably more of Matt’s than mine,” Alice said. “I thought it would be a lot smaller. His thought process is if you’re going to put that much work into something, you might as well overbuild and not have to go back and add-on.”
For this reason, the owners installed a drive-through window for potential future use. They worked with representatives from the Homer Soda Company to sell craft sodas in the shop. Alice said YoYo’s will include a swirl freeze machine for root beer floats in the future.
The Pommiers, who have been married for 26 years and owned quite a few businesses, are not strangers to selling ice cream. While in western New York, they owned a catering company that had a drive-up window to serve scooped ice cream from.
Alice said they decided to open the shop with 12 summery frozen yogurt flavors, but the frozen yogurt company they work with has over 100 flavors available.
“They have amazing fall and winter flavors and we can’t wait to introduce a lot of different things periodically,” she said.
But for the Pommiers, business is also about family and friends.
While home from college for the summer, their children are working at YoYo’s. Alice also said her nephews and sister-in-law work for Mahomet Landscapes.
“It’s important,” Alice said. “A lot of times people say family doesn’t mix well with business, but we’ve had really good luck. They are people you can trust. With our kids getting involved, they learn about business and how you start things like this.”
“Matt is definitely the entrepreneur.” she continued. “If you have an idea or a dream, if you want to do something, you can do it. I always say be careful what you wish for around Matt. Because he’s just a person who makes things happen.”
And Alice added that the YoYo’s space, the environment, and the vision was more than just yogurt.
“It’s not really about just yogurt,” she said. “It’s about community and kids hanging out and baseball teams. Or bridge clubs and playing cards. Hopefully, it’s a place where people just like to go and enjoy each other.”
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