Betterific is all about entrepreneurship and innovation, and last night’s meet-up at the 16 Handles frozen yogurt shop in SoHo, New York encapsulated those qualities perfectly. In a party space behind the hustle and bustle of the store, 16 Handles CEO Solomon Choi hosted a riveting roundtable-like discussion about his story and the importance of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Coming on the heels of the 16 Handles Betterific campaign, which generated numerous concepts and suggestions, it was also a great opportunity for Betterific users to meet face-to-face in the first of hopefully many more events, and obviously great ideas were discussed and exchanged.
Choi’s story begins as a child in southern California. Inspired by both the plethora of ice cream flavors at Baskin Robbins and the small, mom-and-pop-shop froyo stop that he worked at for a while, Choi mustered up the confidence to attract investors (his family and friends) and make the bold move to New York to start what would become a successful enterprise. After ceaselessly searching for a possible retail location, Choi opened his first shop in New York’s East Village, an area of the city with a high college student population, and within a few blocks of numerous competitors. Going up against such big names as Red Mango and Pinkberry, Choi developed his business with a level of determination and entrepreneurial spirit that has lead him to success; with dozens of stores around the Northeast and hundreds more opening around the world in years to come, 16 Handles has truly grown to become a very prosperous venture.
The event, co-sponsored by Betterific, is part of a new emphasis on bringing together Betterific users and entrepreneurs to allow for innovation and growth. Part of the meet-up last night entailed the exchange and discussion of ideas, ranging from visual designs from Betterific’s own Tova Silverman to the suggestion to include cup dividers, allowing consumers to separate their froyo flavors (an idea currently in development), and from 16 Handles merchandise to Choco Taco like options. It also gave Solomon an opportunity to test some of his own innovative ideas, such as the inclusion of real fruit smoothies to the 16 Handles menu. Another idea came in the form of an all-natural fruit based “butter,” in apple or pumpkin flavors, to be used as toppings for autumnal flavors. All in all, it was a great night for both Betterific and 16 Handles. Many thanks to 16 Handles and Solomon Choi for hosting the event, and to Lara Nictora who coordinated the Betterific campaign and the event. To the people who attended, thank you for coming and we hope you enjoyed it, it was a great night and we look forward to many more!