When Gary and Nicola Rodney wanted to take their business experience and start something of their own, they enlisted the help of their son and daughter.
Myles, 22, a biology student at Florida Gulf Coast University, would Skype his parents and sister Gabrielle, 17, to brainstorm ideas for the family’s frozen yogurt business. A name for the shop in Parrish came from a breakfast brainstorm session.
“Nicky came up with Pomegranate,” Gary said.
He has a background in information technology and Nicky still works as an administrator for an Alzheimer’s assisted living facility. With her healthcare background, Nicola, otherwise known as Nicky, wanted to make sure the frozen yogurt shop provides healthy treats to the Parrish community.
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“The pomegranate is a healthy food and this is a healthy product,” she said of her inspiration for the name.
The staple flavor at Pomegranate Frozen Yogurt is, unsurprisingly, a pomegranate, dairy-free froyo. At all times, Pomegranate offers two dairy-free options as well as a sugar-free and nonfat option, Nicky said.
We want it to be the Starbucks of froyo.
Nicky Rodney, co-owner of Pomegranate Frozen Yogurt
But sweet treats are not in short supply at Pomegranate, 9023 U.S. Highway 301 N. The smell of fresh waffle cones hits customers first thing when the doors open. Altogether, more than a dozen flavors are available at any given time, including stapes like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
Candy, nuts, cake, brownies, cherries and fruit are topping options as well as hot fudge, peanut butter, Nutella and house-made whipped cream.
Customers can load up yogurt cups to their heart’s desire for 56 cents an ounce. Gary and Nicky accommodate trying multiple flavors in the same cup with card stock cup dividers that can split the desserts into three-flavor masterpieces.
It brings traffic to our store and vice-versa, and they’re awesome people.
Monica Staup, owner of Rustic Rose, neighboring business to Pomegranate Frozen Yogurt
Pomegranate’s frozen yogurt works well as a midday or end-of-day treat, Gary and Nicky said. But they also hope for the shop to be more than just a dessert stop.
“We want it to be like the Starbucks of froyo,” Nicky said. Pomegranate offers free WiFi and a “VIP lounge” with cushy seats and couches where community groups or friends can chat and enjoy an afternoon over frozen yogurt.
After two to three years of research, the Rodneys chose Florida food distributor Cheney Brothers to supply their frozen yogurt. The decision was easy once they’d done enough research. The Cheney Brothers “carry the product we were looking for,” Nicky said.
In May, the Rodneys will celebrate their first anniversary in business. While it’s been a learning curve, the family has taken it all in stride.
“It’s exciting owning your own business,” Nicky said. “Especially after we both have had careers putting our lives into other companies.”