October 12, 2010 // Franchising.com // (Columbia, MO)---Tasti D-Lite, the lower-calorie frozen dessert chain with a cult following among health-conscious consumers as well as celebrities, will open its first Missouri outpost at 1201 Grindstone Parkway in Columbia in October.
Columbia residents Todd and Carissa Neimeyer are the entrepreneurs behind the new business. Carissa is the owner of Neimeyer Properties, which owns and operates nine rental properties in the area. She was previously the co-owner of an energy savings company that she started with her father, but recently sold her share to focus on Tasti D-Lite.
"Entrepreneurship is in my blood. While I've been successful with my real estate business and the business with my father, neither of them are truly a passion," said Carissa. "When a family friend told us about his plans to open a Tasti D-Lite in Chicago, a concept we had never heard of at the time, we started doing our research. We are a family that puts an emphasis on health, fitness and fun and that's what Tasti exemplifies. We think the residents of Columbia are going to fall in love with Tasti D-Lite's amazing variety of delicious, healthier frozen treats. And we're excited to be building the company's very first drive-through store right here in Columbia."
Carissa will manage the day-to-day operations of Tasti D-Lite while Todd will continue his career in medical device sales. While further expansion in Columbia is possible, for now the Neimeyers want to focus on turning their business into a thriving operation that they can one day pass down to their daughters.
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 made from natural ingredients including real dairy, contains no artificial sweeteners and 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 single- and multi-unit franchises, area developers and international master franchises.
Tasti D-Lite is targeting additional areas in Missouri for further expansion. The company expects to open as many as 60 units in key cities such as St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield. In fact, the company recently hosted a free informational business ownership seminar in the St. Louis area for interested entrepreneurs.
"We're excited to introduce the Tasti D-Lite brand to the Midwest. Columbia has some similarities to our headquarters market of Nashville where the first Tasti D-Lite store opened a year ago and where the brand has been very well received," said Jim Amos, Tasti D-Lite's chairman and CEO. "As we've entered new markets, we've found people embracing Tasti D-Lite for what it is – not just a great-tasting, better-for-you treat but really a celebration of life and health. We're proud to have Todd and Carissa, who are already established and successful local business owners, as Tasti D-Lite franchisees and we know they have the passion and drive to make their center a huge success."
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, in addition to the new Missouri location, expects to open new stores in Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada 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 this 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 or contact Nikki Sells at 615-550-3124.