Starting a business is all about spotting the right opportunity at the right time - and the right time for Andrew Littlefield and Mark White of llaollao was on a visit to a Spanish frozen yogurt shop, where he noticed a busy community enjoying some healthy dessert time. Let's find out more!
1. Explain your business in thirty seconds or less.
We are a fresh healthy frozen yogurt store based in the heart of Bournemouth. We take the 'guilty' out of 'guilty treat', providing locally produced fresh fruit toppings which are delivered daily coupled with the healthiest natural low fat yogurt. We are setting the bench mark for healthy treat options and creating a frozen yogurt culture.
2. Where are you based and why is it a good location for your business?
We are based in Bournemouth's new BH2 Leisure complex. It's great to be here as BH2 has become a destination for food and drink which is also complemented by the Odeon Cinema. There are lots of restaurants in the building, all national and well-known brands. Our product is different - it's a healthy treat so its becoming popular to eat after dinner or take to the cinema, and we don't really have any competition with the restaurants as they do with each other.
3. How did you come up with the idea?
I lived in Spain in the city of Madrid for about four years. One evening after work I walked down to my local leisure complex and stumbled across a llaollao frozen yogurt shop. It looked so clean, fresh and healthy, which was of interest to me as I've always eaten relatively healthy. So while I sat there enjoying my frozen yogurt with fruit toppings I started to study the operation of the business, and it occurred to me in that moment that this could work in the UK. The llaollao concept was very well put together and straightforward to operate. I went back for more yogurt over the coming weeks and tried other stores in Spain. Everywhere I went they were all the same and the experience was the same. The most interesting thing was it was winter in Madrid and very cold, but people still came and waited in line for their yogurt. Gym-goers, families, pregnant women and the elderly...they all came. It was more like a culture.
I contacted a friend and business associate of mine - Mark White, who I've carried out several projects with in the past - and we spoke about jointly bringing it to the UK. We approached the CEO of llaollao, and the rest is history.
4. What stage was your business at when you applied for the Start Up Loan?
We were quite far progressed and all of our planning had been done and our lease agreed. We just then either needed investment or a business loan.
5. How have you used it to grow your business?
Our Startup loan was used mainly to facilitate the fit out of the outlet. Managing to complete our startup without external investors was an achievement.
6. Who helped you get a Start Up Loan?
We aren't looking for a mentor but Alex and Cassie from StartUpU have helped us every step of the way with our application, and have been very supportive as has Josh and everyone at www.thiswork.space which we're a short walk from. We've been building a lot of relationships with other local businesses and the co-working and office spaces are perfect in helping build awareness.
7. Biggest achievement so far?
8. What’s next for your business?
We intend to roll the model out across the UK and we are currently seeking larger investment. We have the backing from llaollao in Spain.
The information contained in this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice on any matter. Use of this website is at users own risk and is not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship between Virgin StartUp and any user. Information displayed on this website is provided “as is” and Virgin StartUp does not provide any express or implied warranty or representation concerning the information, including but not limited to the accuracy or appropriateness of the information. Virgin StartUp recommend that users seek their own legal advice before taking (or refraining from) taking any action and do not accept any liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the information displayed on this website to the fullest extent permitted by law.