With 23 locations across the metro Atlanta area, Yogli Mogli has become a prominent fixture of our neighborhoods, and in the summer especially, this cool sensation attracts customers of all ages. Each location sports a bright, modern décor and self-serve style and fun flavors – from original tart to red velvet cake – any of which can be topped with fresh fruit, candy, cereals and more.
Founder and owner Roi Shlomo has watched his business grow from just an idea on paper to a thriving and delicious franchise. After opening the first Yogli Mogli in May 2009, the company has expanded at a rapid pace; the latest location opened at Town Center Mall in late July. The goal is to have 30 stores in operation by the end of the year.
Shlomo emigrated from Israel at the age of 21 after serving in the Israeli army. Needless to say, much has changed in the past 12 years, but he still has the same entrepreneurial spirit and Israeli accent.
After participating in various business ventures across the country, Shlomo zeroed in on frozen yogurt and decided to open up in Atlanta. It was the start of the “froyo” boom, and he was one of the first on the scene.
“I really liked the market here,” he said of the city. “I knew it was the right fit for my concept, as far as being family-oriented and having a strong community and good school system, and that is what I need for my concept. We create a hangout spot, and you can only do that in areas such as Atlanta.”
Yogli Mogli’s catchy and fun name almost didn’t exist; Shlomo says that weeks before opening, he canned the name “Yogurt4U” and came up with the current moniker, which he says is “a mixture of all the yogurt names I had in my head.”
According to its founder, the chain’s success is due to each location’s being more than just another yogurt shop, of which there are many. Not only does he offer a popular product and great service, Shlomo believes that his store is a place for “the community to come together and eat a healthy dessert while they see each other.”
As for the competition, Shlomo believes that the Yogli Mogli brand will survive despite changing demands, and that this winter, the stores that aren’t supposed to make it won’t make it.
Though he has no formal education or degree, Shlomo explains that his entrepreneurial success comes down to always looking for opportunities and ideas, then making it happen. If he wasn’t developing his frozen yogurt business, Shlomo says that he would still have his own business; he is already working on a new venture.
To other entrepreneurs, Shlomo explains that believing in your concept and working for the right reasons are the secret for success. As far as Yogli Mogli, he followed his own advice.
“I believe in offering a healthy treat and an alternative in the dessert industry,” Shlomo said. “It is a fun and happy concept.”
Besides Yogli Mogli, Shlomo also co-owns kosher restaurant Café Noga (formerly O U for U) in Sandy Springs with his business partner. He also gives back to the Jewish community; Yogli Mogli continually sponsors Atlanta area school, such as the Epstein School; holds spirit days, from which a portion of the sales are donated back to the school or other groups; and will soon partner with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for a 5K race fundraiser later in the year.
“When you see these kids, it’s an amazing feeling, and you just want to do more,” Shlomo said of the children who benefit. “I love what Make-A-Wish does and how they grant wishes.”
Spreading happiness – whether through his charitable efforts or his fantastic froyo – is what Shlomo values most at the end of the day.
“The most rewarding thing is the satisfaction [I get] when I come to the store and there are a lot of smiling kids and I see the business doing well,” he said.
By Jessie Miller