In just a few weeks, North Liberty area residents will have the best of both worlds when it comes to dessert options – frozen yogurt and cupcakes. That’s because Yotopia Frozen Yogurt owner Veronica Tessler is teaming up with Molly’s Cupcakes owner Jamie Smith on a one-of-a-kind joint venture in North Liberty at 620 Pacha Parkway. In honor of the upcoming grand opening, MidWestOne caught up with Tessler to learn more about her business and the upcoming expansion.
Tell us more about the new store.
Molly’s Cupcakes opened about a year after Yotopia did and Jamie and I quickly became friends. We soon realized that we had complimentary dessert products and that we shared a customer base and as a result started partnering on a number of smaller-scale projects over the past two years. Since we both had ambitions to expand our businesses we decided to launch something together. The store will have separate entrances for each store, but there will be an open walkway that connects the stores in the middle. We’re really excited to enter a new market in North Liberty and can’t wait to offer our products there.
How did Yotopia get started?
I started Yotopia in 2011 because I really loved the new self-serve frozen yogurt concept and there was nowhere in town that offered it. I used to work for an international nonprofit organization in Muscatine, and as part of that did a lot of traveling across the country and internationally. I saw several similar concepts in other locations and decided to bring the idea to Iowa City. MidWestOne gave me a commercial business loan and in 2011 the store opened.
What do you like about banking with MidWestOne?
The convenience factor is a big plus for me. They’re literally a block away from my shop so that makes things really easy. Customer service is another big factor. I feel like I’m a part of the MidWestOne family and they are always super friendly. It makes me feel really good about doing business with them.
Have you always been an entrepreneur at heart?
That’s tough to say. I have a background in foreign policy but have always had a keen business sense. I think I’ve always had it inside me but it just wasn’t fully realized until Yotopia was born.
What’s the one thing you want people to know about Yotopia?
We are doing our best to support our community by providing the highest quality products to our customers, offering a family-friendly environment, and giving back to the local community. We source our yogurt from a dairy farm in Northeast Iowa and think it’s important to do business with local Iowa farmers. Since the Iowa City community has supported us from the beginning, we are committed to contributing to community groups through sponsorships and fundraisers.