New York City's leading self-serve frozen yogurt shop, 16 Handles, will open new locations across the East Coast this spring as part of four recently signed franchise agreements. These franchise deals mark a significant step forward for the brand outside of New York and part of the latest growth strategy under CEO Neil Hershman, 16 Handles' largest franchisee who recently acquired the brand in August of last year.
The first Boston location is expected to open in spring of 2023. The franchisees, Luka and Margaret Dow, are eager to debut 16 Handles in the market, where everyone from college students to young families can indulge in a wide variety of sweet treats. Luka comes from food and beverage background, and Margaret a retail background, and the couple were looking into franchise opportunities in their local community. When they discovered 16 Handles, they decided it would be a perfect fit for the metro Boston area.
"Bringing a 16 Handles to Boston is exactly what Margaret and I envisioned since we saw the city's need for more tasty frozen dessert options," said Luka Dow. "16 Handles is not only a quality product, but also a quality experience. My wife and I are excited to bring this business to Boston in hopes of spreading happiness and becoming more involved in the community."
16 Handles is also expanding to Naples, Florida at 3367 Pine Ridge, Suite 103. Naples franchisees Alex Nicholas and Jib Reagan were immediately drawn to the brand's innovation and the chance to better their community.
"The franchise support has been excellent. I admire that Neil is an experienced operator, so he will understand what Jib and I are experiencing as we open our stores," said Nicholas. "I used to live in New York for 15 years, and the first 16 Handles I ever stepped foot in was the East Village store. I told myself if the brand ever expanded nationally and if it aligned with my life, then I would jump on the opportunity."
Nearby in Englewood, Florida, 16 Handles investor, co-owner and comedic YouTuber, Danny Duncan will open his first location at 505 W Dearborn Street. Duncan also currently serves as the brand's Chief Creative Officer.
The other recently signed agreement is for expansion in Jersey City, New Jersey. The new franchise partner, Tamara Hamilton is originally from Russia and has lived in New York City for 12 years where she became an avid 16 Handles customer. Hamilton is looking forward to opening her first business and offering Jersey City a new, tasty dessert spot for everyone to enjoy.
"Previously working in the finance and construction industry, the pandemic made me realize I wanted to start a new career, be my own boss and open a business in Jersey City," said Hamilton. "I wanted to open a place that people can come in to feel good and leave happy. There are so many local families here and 16 Handles has the most welcoming atmosphere to stay and make memories while having a delicious treat."
16 Handles sets itself apart with modern store design, an exclusive and addictive product lineup, and an unparalleled customer experience. The menu features 16 different soft serve flavors, 50+ toppings and sauces, as well as a variety of frozen novelties such as cakes, take-home pints, and Dō gourmet edible cookie dough. The brand is also expected to announce further multi-unit expansion across the East Coast and Texas in the coming months.
"16 Handles offers something for everyone, and our new operator-first approach to franchising and turn-key modular store design is proving to be successful," said Neil Hershman, CEO of 16 Handles. "We are excited to expand across the East Coast, and our corporate team is already hard at work helping to plan stores and train new franchise partners!"