Surrounded by bright colours, Dong Kim smiles for the camera in his new Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt store. Customers wander in and happily sort through the sheer number of options the store offers.
With hundreds of toppings and over 80 different flavours of frozen yogurt and sorbet offered on a rotating basis, customers often spend more time deciding what to layer and sprinkle on top of their fro yo than actually eating it.
Before diving into the world of cold confectionery, Dong tried his hand as a professional photographer. He mainly did portrait and wedding projects on the side, but he found that he wanted his photography simply to be more of a side gig. Although still passionate about photography, he found himself looking for other areas and industries to explore.
Dong also worked in children’s mental health for over a decade as a therapist. During that time, he did his own taxes and bookkeeping. “I think I have an aptitude for it, but I don’t care to do it anymore as I’ve gotten older. I’d rather go home and relax.”
Tutti Frutti is an internationally-recognized brand, the largest self-serve frozen yogurt brand in the world. “I started running my first Tutti Frutti franchise store a couple of years ago,” says Dong. “It took me a while to find the right location for the first shop. The retail vacancy rate is really low in Calgary. It’s hard to find a good location for a new business.”
Tutti Frutti offers hundreds of topping combinations and over 80 different flavours of frozen yogurt and sorbet.
“It took me six to eight months to find a good location,” Dong says. “I was just walking along 17 Avenue when I saw the ‘For Lease’ sign in the window.”
Dong now owns and runs two Tutti Frutti locations in Calgary, one in Deerfoot Meadows and one in the heart of 17th Avenue near 8th Street.
Dong was referred to Origami by Rob Clarke from Foosh on Edmonton’s Whyte Ave. He saw Foosh’s testimonial on Origami’s website. “Origami has a clever branding, and a strong sense of ‘they take care of you’,” he says.
Dong admits that he wouldn’t have been as successful without some sort of accounting and bookkeeping assistance.
“It frees up your time to take care of your business, like dealing with the different vendors and suppliers,” Dong says, adding that having [Origami’s] help with the monthly bookkeeping work has given him more time to really get to know and serve his customers.
“Ultimately, it makes things effortless, and I really enjoy that,” he says of Origami’s service. “The team [at Origami] have been very available and very responsive. I’m not waiting for days and days for answers or my financials.”
“As a business owner, you want results. There’s a lot of comfort knowing that everything is taken care of.”