Last week was the highly anticipated grand opening of Farrah Abraham’s almost mythological (at least for us) frozen yogurt restaurant Froco in the Austin, Texas suburb of Lakeway. I live near Austin, and just like a rather sizable crowd of others, I braved the severe thunderstorm warning to be there for the big event — and none of us were disappointed!
In just a matter of weeks, Farrah and her team gave the restaurant a complete makeover (click here for some “before” photos) and it looked great! In another impressive feat, they somehow managed to move all of the festivities — including a live band, a mini-red carpet for photos with the Froco mascot Coba, and a face painting station — inside the relatively small space because of the rain. The result was a fun shoulder-to-shoulder energy that was heightened further by the presence of a full MTV film crew.
— Taylor Shook (@AVALONSHAIR) June 4, 2016
Farrah was really amazing as host, I have to say. Not only was she keeping her calm during what could have been a chaotic mess given the extreme weather conditions, but she was doing it with a huge smile as she made it a point to enthusiastically introduce herself to everyone in attendance. And she was especially great with the kids that were there, thanking them for coming out and making sure they all knew about the face painting and the opportunity to take a photo with Coba.
So how was the frozen yogurt? I’m a bit of a froyo snob, and I have to admit it was damn good! I tried four different flavors (pistachio, birthday cake, banana flambe (I think), and hazelnut, and they were all creamy and delicious — none of that weird, slightly artificial taste that you sometimes get.
In addition to Farrah, some of the other familiar faces at the bash included her daughter Sophia, mom Debra Danielsen, boyfriend Simon Saran, bestie Paola Quezada, and fellow reality star (and business partner) Heather Marianna. I was extremely disappointed that Farrah’s dad Michael was not in attendance, but after being there for about an hour, I overheard a family friend point out to someone else that he was the one in the Froco Coba mascot costume! I’ve always thought Michael was perhaps the most dedicated member of #TeamFarrah, but I had no idea just how dedicated! (It was really muggy, and that costume did not look like it was all that well ventilated.)
I should mention that the grand opening was on Farrah’s 25th birthday, so it was an especially special day for the Teen Momtrepreneur. Farrah had a Froco birthday cake on hand, and the band serenaded her with “Happy Birthday” as everyone sang along.
The birthday girl was kind enough to agree to answer some of our questions about her soon-to-be Froco empire, as well as her other Austin area brick-and-mortar ventures that include her Furnished by Farrah furniture store and staging company as well as the Sophia Laurent Children’s Boutique featuring all sorts of clothing and other merchandise for hip youngsters.
STARCASM: Why should people choose Froco instead of other frozen yogurt shops like Pinkberry or Orange Leaf?
FARRAH: I chose to create an even better brand then the already existing franchises. Froco isn’t only frozen yogurt, but much more when you walk in. Our employees are taken more seriously wearing chef uniforms as well. Froco takes sanitation and attention to the look and feel of the quick serve restaurant more serious. We also give purpose with Coba our popping boba mascot and guest mascot Swirl the lost ice-cream cone. We offer juices, teas, water, cake pops, gourmet lollipops, with toppings that fit all diet types (kosher, vegan, dairy free, dye free, etc.) as well actual food items like freshly made sandwiches, salads, wraps and more.
Froco is the first of its kind to be owned and operated by a celebrity. Many people in other states are already excited to have a Froco in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Louisiana and many more states. Froco takes frozen yogurt to the next level with passion and positivity that has plans to go international very quickly.
Come in and celebrate with a birthday party or book a one on one with the celebrity founder Farrah Abraham herself in Coba class, where you get a froyo university experience for inspiring business owners and never-ending learners, as Farrah wants other entrepreneurs and leaders to know anything is possible in 30 days or 8 years. Farrah’s recollection and journey in business is truly fascinating — even more so than her successful reality television career and celebrity status.
Will there be any Mom & Me products there?
There has been a lot of interest in adding wine. At this time we will have to make choices upon what are customers think will allow them to enjoy while their kids play and while they enjoy the outdoor seating area with live music or relaxed Sundays. Were excited to add more food items very soon! Make Froco Your Own! Froco is all about adding and switching food items to what each community wants at their Froco location.
You recently relocated to California, so who will be handling the day-to-day operations of Froco?
As an owner of an amazing company, I look forward to being at Froco as much as possible. I LOVE FROCO! The atmosphere is amazing and certainly look forward to assisting my employees one by one so they soon one day can be awesome business owners themselves. My management team is amazing that I have hired and I very much enjoyed the hiring process.
The Froco grand opening has been years in the making — can you explain what happened with the previous location on South Congress and why you decided to locate in Lakeway instead?
I will say it has been a long road. I almost gave up on opening my brand I created after dealing with many bad developers and dead end location searches. Like every start up and business owner, the journey is never easy and my journey building an awesome lifestyle brand like Froco was not easy given what I wanted out of an outstanding location. Startup tip: never think building from ground up will be cheaper or on time or even be completed. For restaurants, I would gravitate more toward a current existing space so you know you will make your return on time. Now it takes me only 30 days to open and get return on my investment from the time I sign the lease. I will have to say I have streamlined the process and look forward to the quick serve space Froco is in.
Your actual, real-live mascot Froco Coba is pretty awesome — how often can restaurant patrons expect to see him? Will he only be around for special events?
Coba the passion fruit popping boba will be around as much as possible. Coba will be around 2pm-4pm daily as well surprise visits. Coba can barely fit in and out of the doors, so feel free to help Coba around. Everyone loves Coba from ages 1 to 80. So far we have some amazing memories and can’t wait to make more with customers. Coba looks forward to also visiting schools, hospitals and fundraising events.
What are your future plans with Froco? Are you already planning any more locations? And if someone is interested in buying a franchise, is that an option at this point?
Froco is planning to grow as fast as possible. We have interest from many other states to get Froco there asap. Myself as the founder would like to own 10 myself, so I will be very excited to expand in Texas and California. I believe in making franchising an awesome and profitable experience. Froco does not charge a franchise fee, and we do not charge any fees on food products or merchandise. Froco is organized to set up the franchise owner locations and only take 15% of sales each quarter. [Click here for more Froco franchise information.]
Is there a date for the grand opening of Furnished By Farrah yet?
I plan to open Furnished By Farrah hopefully at the beginning of August 2016, as well Sophia Laurent Children’s Boutique in late August 2016. I will know exact dates once construction has started on the new Oaks development in Lakeway — part of the new HEB development in Lakeway Texas. The community is very excited about having quality furniture at great prices as well as a variety of children’s clothing options and children’s products that will enhance the community at large.
A huge congratulations to Farrah on her successful grand opening! And you can rest assured that I plan on being at the grand openings of Furnished By Farrah as well as the Sophia Laurent Children’s Boutique! 🙂
In addition, I would like to add my sincere thanks to Farrah, Debra, Michael, and Simon — they were all EXTREMELY nice and went out of their way to make me feel welcome. On what was a special day for the entire family, Debra probably spent a good hour talking to me — and she even brought me a bottle of Mom & Me “Sexy Red Blend” wine after I told her via Twitter a few weeks back that I really wanted to buy one.
Michael’s time was even more limited given that he was sweating it out as “Coba the passion fruit popping boba,” yet he still spoke with me at length when he had a break. And Simon literally lit up after he realized I was with Starcasm because he caught me in perhaps the greatest “Deez Nuts” trap of all time via Twitter DM a while back — something neither he nor I will forget any time soon.
And Farrah herself couldn’t have been nicer! I made it a point not to seek her out because I didn’t want to be a distraction on her special day, but she came looking for me and made sure to thank me for coming and express her gratitude before posing for a couple of selfies together.
To be honest, I haven’t met many of the people who I write about in person, and it’s easy to forget that these characters that we see on TV are real, live human beings. I was truly humbled by their kindness and generosity. To Starcasm’s credit, we’ve always managed to have some fun in our coverage of Farrah over the years, but we have tried to do it without meanness or malice.
PS – I bought a little stuffed plush Coba, but I think of it as a little Michael Abraham in a costume. It’s sitting beside my bottle of Mom & Me wine and the pairing is absolutely priceless:
Froco is located at 2127 Lohmans Crossing Rd, Ste. 304, in Lakeway, Texas. You can keep up with Froco online via these links: