January 29, 2010 // Franchising.com // (Boynton Beach, Fla.)-- Tasti D-Lite, the great-tasting, lower-calorie frozen dessert chain with a cult following among health-conscious consumers as well as celebrities, has signed an area development agreement for Southeast Florida. Area Developer Robyn Vescovi will develop Tasti D-Lite in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties. Vescovi's first center will open this February in Boynton Beach at 1050 Gateway Blvd., with two additional centers scheduled to debut in Delray Beach and Boca Raton in the coming months.
Vescovi spent the past 25 years in learning and executive development in the financial industry where she worked her way up the corporate ladder from her start at IBM to becoming a senior leader for Goldman Sachs and U.S. Trust Company. She also managed international and U.S.-based businesses and worked with CEOs of major institutions.
"I had been researching investment opportunities for the past two years and was mainly interested in a product that I truly believed in and felt passionate about," said Vescovi. "Tasti D-Lite fits that mold because it offers consumers a frozen treat they can feel good about. I think the climate of South Florida and the healthful mindset and eating habits of the residents will allow Tasti to build a loyal following there just like it has in New York City and other areas."
Since its inception in 1987, Tasti D-Lite's popularity has grown largely by word of mouth and has resulted in a huge base of raving fans who line up day and night to get their favorite guilt-free treat, available in more than 100 flavors. With Tasti D-Lite, health-conscious individuals can enjoy a dessert that is significantly lower in fat, calories and carbs than ice cream. Thanks to unsolicited international exposure on TV shows such as "30 Rock," "Sex and the City" and "The Apprentice" along with new store openings, demand for the brand has grown worldwide. Tasti D-Lite is now poised for growth throughout the U.S. and around the world with plans to build a global 500-center franchise network through a combination of single- and multi-unit franchises, area developers and international master franchises.
"We are extremely excited to be expanding our presence in Florida, and particularly South Florida, with an area developer who has great business experience and a true passion for Tasti D-Lite," said Jim Amos, Tasti D-Lite's chairman and CEO. "Florida has been one of our target markets and we're confident that Robyn will be able to capitalize on this opportunity and develop the Tasti D-Lite brand to its full potential in that area."
Tasti D-Lite first launched its franchise program in 2008. Since then, the company has grown to more than 50 locations and has secured commitments to open over 300 locations in the coming years. In 2009, Tasti D-Lite opened new stores in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, New York and New Jersey and expects additional expansion into Connecticut, California and Illinois in 2010. Internationally, the company already has a presence in South Korea and, as part of a Mexico master franchisee agreement signed earlier this year, is opening its first location in Mexico City this month. The brand's international expansion will continue in 2010 with plans to open the first United Arab Emirates location in Abu Dhabi in March. Led by a world-class operating team, the company is undertaking a program of accelerated store growth, product innovation, customer engagement and service excellence.