Local couple to open state's second location in October
September 02, 2010 // Franchising.com // (Fairfield, CT) - Tasti D-Lite, the lower-calorie frozen treat chain with a cult following among health-conscious consumers as well as celebrities, will open its second Connecticut center in September at 1201 Kings Highway in Fairfield. It will join a center in Darien, which opened in February, and a third location expected to open in Stamford before the end of the year.
Fairfield residents Mark and Alison Smith are the entrepreneurs behind the new business. When the Smiths welcomed their first child in early 2009, their priorities shifted and Mark began reevaluating his career in wholesale distribution with a lengthy commute to New York.
"I was only seeing my son about an hour a day with my commute," said Mark. "Alison and I decided something had to change. We wanted something closer to home that would afford us more flexibility in our lives. Being from the New York area, I have been a customer of Tasti D-Lite for years. We love the product and jumped at the opportunity to get in on the ground floor. We believe the residents of Fairfield will love Tasti's delicious flavors, its wide variety of other treats like smoothies and parfaits, and most of all, it's healthier nutritional profile!"
While Alison will help with the marketing of the business, she will continue her career in the financial services industry. Mark will also continue to work as a professional portrait photographer. The couple will be joined by Alison's brother, Alan Kline, a professional climbing guide who is moving to the area for a change of pace after a major mountain climbing accident in August. Kline will be relocating to Connecticut to serve as the store's manager.
The Smiths plan to open their second location, and the fourth in the state, in Norwalk in 2011.
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 lower in calories, carbs and sugar than ice cream and leading frozen yogurt brands. 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 singleand multi-unit franchises, area developers and international master franchises.
"Continuing our expansion in Connecticut is important because it allows us to build on our strong northeast presence and grow in a market with a high focus on healthful living and eating," said Jim Amos, Tasti D-Lite's chairman and CEO. "Alison and Mark share our passion for the brand and will do an outstanding job delivering Tasti's healthier treats along with a great customer experience to a new community. We're confident that Fairfield residents will make Tasti D-Lite part of their daily lives, as a fun, delicious, 'better-for-you' treat that you can feel good about enjoying every day."
Tasti D-Lite first launched its franchise program in 2008. Since then, the company has grown to 50 locations and has secured commitments to open over 300 locations in the coming years. During the past year, Tasti D-Lite has opened new stores in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Arizona, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey and expects new stores to open in Missouri, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina and Maryland by the end of 2010. Internationally, the company already has a presence in South Korea and has opened its first two locations in Mexico this year, with more units planned in the coming months. The brand's international expansion will continue in 2010 with plans to open multiple locations in the United Arab Emirates, the first two slated to open by early fall. Led by a world-class operating team, the company is undertaking a program of product innovation, customer engagement and service excellence. For more information, visit www.tastidlite.com