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Freeze Fame

How this year's No. 1 franchise, Yogen Fruz, is getting its just desserts.

This story appears in the January 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

There couldn't be a better success story. At ages 19 and 20, Michael and Aaron Serruya wanted to purchase a franchise, but no company would take a chance on them. So instead, they came up with an original frozen yogurt concept called Yogen Früz and opened their first store in 1986 in Toronto; their younger brother, Simon, joined the team in 1989. Thirteen years after opening, Yogen Früz is the world's largest franchisor of frozen dessert outlets, with 4,799 locations in 82 countries, and tops this year's Franchise 500®.

Employing a philosophy of never incurring debt, Yogen Früz has expanded tremendously by co-branding with Pizza Hut Canada, using master franchisors throughout the world, and scooping up several U.S. companies in acquisitions, including Bresler's Ice Cream; I Can't Believe It's Yogurt (ICBIY); Ice Cream Churn; and Integrated Brands Inc., parent company of Swensen's Ice Cream, Steve's Homemade Ice Cream and Heidi's Frögen Yozurt.

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