16 Handles Acquired by Franchisee Neil Hershman and YouTube Star Danny Duncan
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16 Handles Acquired by Franchisee Neil Hershman and YouTube Star Danny Duncan

August 24, 2022 // Franchising.com // NEW YORK - New York City’s self-serve frozen yogurt shop, 16 Handles, has been acquired by the brand’s largest franchisee. The 30+ unit franchise brand will now be led by New York entrepreneur Neil Hershman, who plans to grow the regional brand outside of the Tri-State area. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Hershman will immediately retain the role of CEO and owner of 16 Handles. He is joined by investor and co-owner Danny Duncan, who will serve as the brand’s Chief Creative Officer. Duncan is a comedic YouTuber who has amassed over 1.5 billion views on the platform and generated over $50 million in merchandise sales from 2020-2021.

16 Handles was founded by Solomon Choi in 2008. It sets itself apart with modern store design, an exclusive and addictive product lineup, and unparalleled customer experience. The menu features 16 different frozen desserts, 50+ toppings and sauces, as well as a variety of frozen novelties such as cakes, take-home pints and toppings to-go.

“I came to New York City in my 20s and started 16 Handles as part of my lifelong dream and passion to create my own brand and build it into something great. Today, I see this same desire and fire in Neil as a successful franchisee who will now take over the direction of this iconic New York City dessert brand,” said Choi.

Over the past three years, Hershman has quickly built a dessert empire throughout Manhattan, including a newly constructed Times Square 16 Handles location. He currently owns five 16 Handles shops (Murray Hill, East Village, Chelsea, Tribeca and Times Square), last year debuted NYC’s first-ever Dippin’ Dots ice cream store in Flatiron District and has since opened two additional stores in Brooklyn and Times Square this year. Hershman also recently opened Captain Cookie & the Milkman, a popular cookie and ice cream company started in Washington DC, near NYU’s campus.

“16 Handles is a beloved brand in the New York region. Our leadership team has experience owning and operating our store locations, which gives us unparalleled insight into our products, business model and customers,” said Hershman.

“It’s important for me to invest in a company that has a great product, but also a company that brings people happiness,” said Duncan.

SOURCE 16 Handles



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