YoLo Frozen Yogurt is the Mid-South’s first self-serve frozen yogurt shop, featuring ingredients produced by local bakers, farmers and manufacturers. YoLo has two locations – one in the Erin Way Shopping Center in East Memphis and one in Collierville’s Town Square. Customers at YoLo locations can choose from up to 12 flavors of yogurt and more than 50 dry toppings and fruit, serving themselves and paying by the ounce. For more information, visit www.yolofroyo.com.

The Challenge

As a new business, YoLo faced the challenge of executing the design of two locations simultaneously within a timeline of three months. Working with small square footage, YoLo wanted a modern, colorful design that guided traffic flow, maximized its capacity and offered an environment where its patrons could relax for extended periods of time. MBI worked with YoLo’s design firm, TRO Jung|Brannen, to research furniture and fabrics. MBI also served as a liaison between YoLo and its furniture and lighting vendors.

The Solution

Co-owner Taylor Berger sought the design expertise of Heather Averwater, interior designer at TRO Jung|Brannen, who worked with MBI to research furniture and fabric options. MBI was also responsible for the procurement of YoLo’s custom banquette seating and decorative lighting and ensuring all design elements arrived within the restaurant’s timeline.

Averwater worked closely with Berger to create a space that welcomed customers.

“Taylor had a strong vision of how he wanted the space to feel, and he did a good job of conveying that to me,” Averwater said. “He wanted the space to be very clean and modern, utilizing shades of orange and green. And, he was open to fun ideas in terms of lighting and seating that made the space feel contemporary and fresh.”

When it came to finding a partner to locate the right products for the space, Averwater called upon a trusted resource.

“I had worked with MBI before on past projects,” she said. “I knew we needed decorative lighting, tables and chairs, so I just called them and they took care of everything. In fact, within a day they had already pulled together drawings and quotes for our review. In addition, they were able to work with their vendors to speed up the delivery process and meet our deadlines.”

MBI designer Whitney Joiner said researching furniture, finishes and fabrics for YoLo was an engaging project that presented unique design challenges.

“When you are serving a wide range of clients in an environment with food and beverages, you want the design to serve a dual purpose, to look great and be easy to clean,” she said. “Heather and I were able to find the perfect combination while meeting YoLo’s design specifications.”

“Working with Heather made for a great experience,” said Emily Rolwing, MBI business development manager. “She communicated with us the look YoLo wanted to achieve – a space that was clean and streamlined, yet colorful and fun to attract customers of all ages – making it very easy for us to research options. We were also able to keep Taylor updated continually on lead times, ship dates and installation schedules.”

Berger appreciated MBI’s flexibility and accountability most. “The days leading up to opening were very complex, and while handling a number of last-minute details, it was nice knowing I didn’t have to worry about the design elements coming together,” he said. “I made a couple of delivery schedule changes, and MBI was very responsive, ensuring my expectations and deadlines were met.”

“Our customers have been very positive about YoLo’s look,” Berger continued. “People like to be here and hang out, which is very important to me. The design is key to that.”