Kahala Brands, led by Michael Serruya, a restaurant franchising company, has acquired the super-premium frozen yogurt brand, Pinkberry, based in Santa Monica, California.
Kahala Brands, which owns portfolio of 18 quick-service restaurant brands with approximately 3000 locations in 34 countries including Cold Stone Creamery , the Great Steak & Potato Co. and Blimpie, issued a statement saying that Pinkberry is “an excellent strategic fit for our company.”
According to L.A Times, in recent years, Pinkberry and its co-founder, Young Lee, have run into trouble.
“In 2014, Lee was sentenced to seven years in prison for beating a homeless man with a tire iron. The Los Angeles judge who sentenced Lee called the crime “horrendous” and “merciless.” Lee was no longer active in Pinkberry operations.” L.A Times reports.
Besides, Pinkberry has sued competing chains, accusing them of purposely copying its branding, including mimicking its minimalist decor or using part of its name.
“The Pinkberry brand is known worldwide for its super-premium frozen yogurt and truly is the concept that reignited the frozen yogurt category over a decade ago, ” said Michael Serruya, chairman and chief executive officer of Kahala Brands.
“With over 260 stores in 20 countries, Pinkberry has a history of exceptional growth in just 10 years because of the product quality, flavor profile and personality of the concept. It’s an excellent strategic fit for our company and presents an exciting opportunity for future development.”
Pinkberry opened its first location in West Hollywood, California in 2005 and since then has become best-tasting frozen yogurt around.
Pinkberry is the original tart frozen yogurt with a one-of-a-kind taste. The concept’s distinctive flavors are expertly crafted to complement its daily fresh-cut fruit and premium toppings that together offer an incomparably refreshing taste.
Kahala Brands will consolidate the California-based corporate operations and run the franchising platform for the brand from its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Serruyas came to Canada from Morocco in 1966, early in a wave of Jewish immigration caused by growing anti-Semitism. To get started in Toronto, Michael’s father, Sam, simultaneously learned English, held two jobs and attended university. Then he built a thriving typesetting business, Computer Composition of Canada. “I knew that I wanted to be a business owner from having been exposed to it through my dad, ” says Michael.
Michael and Aaron, who shared a paper route and as teens sold T-shirts together, saw an opportunity in the frozen-yogurt stands that were suddenly popular in the U.S. but virtually non-existent in Canada. Sam agreed to finance their venture on the condition that if it didn’t succeed, “we would give up all these cockamamie ideas and come into his business.” Read the full story at Globe Investor