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Cupcakes and yogurt soon to be found under same roof

BY MEGAN SANCHEZ | OCTOBER 29, 2013 5:00 AM

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When strolling downtown, hungry for dessert, many are faced with the choice between cupcakes and frozen yogurt. Soon, two Iowa City businesses will offer North Liberty residents both sweet treats under one roof.

Molly’s Cupcakes, 14 S. Clinton St., and Yotopia Frozen Yogurt, 132 S. Clinton St., will join forces to open a new store together in North Liberty at 620 Pacha Parkway. Their goal is to open by January.

Molly’s Cupcakes’ owner Jamie Smith said the idea to work together seemed logical because of how weather-related each store’s business can be.

“It just made sense to open something up where we would have customers at all times,” she said. “Our products taste well together, and even our colors and logos are similar to each other.”

Although both owners said they are pleased with their downtown Iowa City locations, Veronica Tessler, Yotopia Frozen Yogurt’s owner, said she knows there is not room in the area for a second store.

“The Iowa City market is pretty saturated,” she said. “It just seemed like a really good fit for both of our businesses to go [there].”

The idea of yogurt and cupcakes in one shop is something Smith said is an obvious match. 

“The whole idea of cake and ice cream has been something that we have enjoyed for ages,” she said. “I don’t think we’re doing anything new. We’re just bringing the trend back.”

Even though the two are enthusiastic about their new location, the endeavor poses a challenge. All of the cupcakes sold at the North Liberty location will be made in Iowa City. Smith said she is nervous about transporting her products each day.

North Liberty Mayor Tom Salm said that while he supports new businesses coming to town, he worries their competition will be hard to handle.

“We already have a cupcake shop in North Liberty, [as well as] an Orange Leaf that is very popular,” Salm said. “They’ll have to do some serious marketing, and it will be a tough go. I am all for new businesses coming to town, and I think it’s great, but I just don’t really know what the demand is.”

Tessler said she is confident their businesses can contend with their competitors.

“We think we have top-quality products that all of North Liberty will appreciate,” she said. “We both do a lot of fundraising and giving to certain causes, so we see ourselves becoming an integral part of the North Liberty community.”

The owner of Capanna Coffee, 6 Pacha Parkway Suite 710, North Liberty, has witnessed an uptick in business around the proposed location.

“My personal opinion is that these two owners will work well together,” Mike McCain wrote in an email. “Their concept will bring customers that will be looking for our products, and I know our current customers are looking for these products, too.”

Smith said she and Tessler became good friends while working to bring their businesses to town. She is looking forward to seeing their idea blossom.

“You can have an idea, but along with that is the idea that it will actually work, so I am anxious,” she said. “[Tessler] is an incredible businesswoman, so I am excited to work side-by-side with her and watch us expand.”


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