August 23, 2011 // Franchising.com // (Tampa, FL) 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 25 centers in the Tampa Bay area over the next 10 years.
Tampa residents Sehera Ali Asgar and Ali Asgar Kaderbhai are the entrepreneurs who will be developing Tasti D-Lite in the area and will personally operate three units, one each in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hernando counties. The husband and wife team are currently scouting locations and expect to open their first center before the end of the year.
"We spent nearly a year researching the frozen treat industry," said Ali Asgar Kaderbhai, who will continue to work in engineering consulting while his wife, Sehera, will manage the day-to-day operations of the business. "We ultimately chose Tasti D-Lite because of their superior product and an unmatched business model. Tasti D-Lite is not only great-tasting and comes in over 100 flavors every day but it has the best overall nutritional profile of any frozen treat we've seen. And the home office team is made up of experienced, top notch people who are great business partners."
Florida has been a hotbed for growth since Tasti D-Lite began franchising. There are four locations operating on the Southeast coast from Boynton Beach to Miami Beach and more than 25 more planned in the coming years. Additionally, there is a center in Sarasota and one that just opened in early August in Jacksonville.
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 every day. With Tasti D-Lite, health-conscious individuals can enjoy a dessert that is made with 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.
"Sehera and Ali are not only accomplished business professionals, they are also passionate about healthy eating," said Jim Amos, Tasti D-Lite's chairman and CEO. "They are going to be wonderful ambassadors for Tasti D-Lite and will help introduce and grow the brand on Florida's West Coast. We're excited to be continuing our rapid expansion in Florida, where the brand is growing in popularity and where we're building a large and loyal fan base."
Tasti D-Lite first launched its franchise program in 2008. Since then, the company has grown to 60 locations and has secured commitments to open over 500 locations in the coming years. The brand has locations in 12 U.S. states today, with plans to open in several additional states before the end of the year. Internationally, the company already has locations in Mexico and the United Arab Emirates and will be opening units in Australia and Panama in 2011. Led by a world-class operating team, the company is undertaking a program of product innovation, customer engagement and service excellence.