By Cara Smith
FREDERICTON–There’s a new player in town to help you get your froyo fix.
goji’s is a family-run frozen yogurt franchise that began in Dieppe and has spread to 14 locations across Canada in just four years. The Fredericton location opened on May 14 and is owned by Li Lin, who owns the Dieppe location as well.
Janette Zacharias is the president of the company and says that when she and her sister first began goji’s it was only meant to be a hobby business, and a distraction from their empty nests at home.
“We knew the frozen yogurt industry would be coming to and growing in Canada,” she said. “From the success of the first store, we decided to go just as multiple locations in the Moncton area and at some point in the middle, we decided to franchise. The rapid growth has been good and challenging.”
Zacharias says they’d been looking to set up shop in Fredericton for a couple years, but things only recently fell into place to make that a reality.
“The right things all have to happen at the right time: the right franchisee, the right space, the right deal structure. That all happened with this scenario,” she said. “We like the location. We like the traffic going by. We like the demographic … It was the right size. It was a good fit.”
Before getting into the froyo business, Li Lin was an electrical engineer. After graduation from an electrical engineering program and working in that field for four or five years, Lin decided to try something completely different.
Lin originally considered opening a Cora’s location in St. John’s Newfoundland, but after someone else beat her to it, she discovered goji’s and was impressed with their product and the way they ran their business.
“In the beginning, the product was the main thing I wanted to be involved with,” Lin said. “There’s two points for success. One is product and the other one is service, that’s for every restaurant or this kind of business.”
“It was my pleasure to join the family because after I joined them I found the people in the family were very nice. They are nice people, very easy to work with.”
Since opening, Lin has been putting long hours into the new location and hopes Fredericton will learn to love goji’s.
“(the staff here) are wonderful people too. They are quick learners and I’m very proud to have them here and our customers are good too … I hope everyone going to our goji’s will enjoy our product and service. We try our best.”