Yeh! for Montreal Canadiens

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Yeh! Yogurt and Cafe, announced today that it has entered into a sponsor ship agreement with the Bell Center, home of the legendary Montreal Canadiens hockey team. Twins Jon and Marvin Gurman, owners of Yeh! chain of retail stores, said "We are delighted to be associated with the Montreal Canadiens. This is a most storied franchise that transcends the world of sports and whose reach extends around the world. We could not associate our brand with a better partner."

In the summer of 2008, when Marvin Gurman walked into Yeh! Yogurt and Cafe on Montreal's Boulevard Saint-Laurent - just across from Schwartz's deli - the colours, concept and feel of the place blew him away.Not only was the self-serve frozen-yogurt shop right on trend with a movement happening in the United States, he was impressed with the very cool clientele drifting in and out. He called his identical twin brother, Jon, and said, "You've got to come see this."By October of that year, the Gurman twins - co-CEOs of Montreal-based JCorp, their family's wholesale clothing company - had partnered with Yeh! Yogurt's co-founders to create Goyogo. While it started as a hobby for them, the Gurmans quickly became passionate about the business, adding new stores and branching into franchising, even painting their cars - Jon's Ferrari and Marvin's Lamborghini - hot pink with logos to match the decor of the stores.

By December, 2012, they had bought out their partners, Grace Yeh and Jean-Daniel Nadeau, and began to expand in earnest, jumping from four stores to 14 and signing up new franchisees. The company now had corporate-owned or franchised locations in Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Saint John, upstate New York and Burlington, Mass., with plans to build the chain to 35 stores by the end of 2013. Goyogo has about 15 employees and annual revenue of $5-million.

But it wasn't love at first bite. When Marvin first tasted frozen yogurt while checking out the trend in California, he didn't like it, but "it grew on him." Once he became involved in the business, he started learning about its different types, tasting all kinds of yogurt in his travels around the globe. A real aficionado now, he swears his company's yogurt is "as good or better than anyone else's yogurt in the world.

"With JCorp's annual sales to retailers in Canada and the United States - Target, JCPenney and Wal-Mart are among its clients - estimated at more than $100 million, the pieces for the Yeh! Yogurt chain's rapid expansion were already in place. The 58-year-old twins, who grew up in Côte Saint-Luc, Que., and have worked together in the apparel industry for 35 years, see the business as a long-term investment.
"Almost all the stores are profitable, 99 per cent," Marvin says. "On the corporate side, not yet. This is the growth period. You have to get up to 75 stores or more to really start to make money. The franchisees will make money, the corporate stores will make money - and we own corporate stores - but you need to keep hiring more people. As it grows, we need to reinvest in more people, so it's a struggle before we see the return."

Yeh! Not just another yogurt shop


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95 Gince
Ville St-Laurent
Montreal, PQ

Phone: (206) 781-1047

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