Brother-sister duo, Ramiro and Judit Briseno, are the owners and founders of California-based dessert house, Sweet Joy Desserts. The store uses a similar business model to Yogurberry, where customers can choose their own flavors and toppings from available dispensing machines in the store. However, Sweet Joy Desserts boasts a wider more complex product range, including acai bowls, sweet crepes and frozen yogurt offerings, many of which register highly in terms of health and nutritional content.
Thankfully, Ramiro and Judit were able to answer a few questions about their business and the market they operate in.
What inspired you both to open Sweet Joy Desserts?
At age 12 I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor that had me in therapy for close to a year. This let to a radical change within my family, specially in our eating habits, soon after our entire diet changed and as years went by this new ways of eating became second nature to us and the desire to tell people simply grew out of love, it seem easy to inform our close friends that just a few changes, little by little could take them a long way on their health, but it seem that no one wanted advise simply because everyone knows what to do.
When we first came across the idea of frozen yogurt seemed interesting because it reaches people that are more health inclined, this certainly was a motivation, to know that it could be improved to make things more healthy and at the same time introduce other menu options that are healthy and taste good to people.
What do you think differentiates your store from the others in the dessert market?
We’re currently in transition to change our menu towards products that actually promote a healthy living and not just a bowl of sugar like the majority of dessert shops out there. This is certainly is a challenge and bold move to try to introduce elements such as turmeric in their drinks and have people love the flavor that would want another one, and at the same time they learn something new that they can apply in their everyday lives.
Which products do you find are the most popular with customers and why?
Currently we have a menu that includes frozen yogurt, sweet crepes, Acai bowls and smoothies with the most popular items being the sweet crepes and bowls. I’ve noticed that one of the main reasons people like this two items in particular is because we’ve made sure to increase the amount of fruit, and reduce sugar without using fake or processed ingredients. Some customer dislike the idea of having a crepe with an incredible amount of sweetness but this is something that’s to be expected. We will continue to improve our product to bring the best possible dessert that’s nutritious to the body and pleases the taste buds.
What advice would you give to others trying to break into the retail dessert segment?
If the kitchen is your passion, then by all means take a risk and pursuit but with the intention of loving your customers in a way that you’re actually giving the best ingredients possible and not making a quick profit. This is something that sounds counterintuitive but people know quality when they taste it.
Did the social trend towards healthy eating affect your product range?
Actually many of our customer have some form of inclination towards health, whether they’re thinking of it, or they’re already athletes, they like to treat themselves once in a while with dessert that they know it won’t affect them. This is actually a market we’re going after by introducing products they know they can trust.
How do you balance offering fresh, high-quality produce to time-strapped customers in need of convenient, quick service?
We’ve tried to adjust our inventory to a level that will be consumed within two to three days before the next order arrives, keeping our product fresh.
Part of the convenience is that people get to make their own dessert, whether they choose an acai bowl which we have topping bar just for that, or frozen yogurt which also has its own section, makes it simple to choose quickly what they want and be out quickly. The timing of making crepes is something we’re currently working on, it’s always a battle to deliver a product that well done and that’s fast delivered but will be there soon.
Thank you Ramiro and Judit for your time!
You can follow up with Ramiro and Judit Briseno at www.sweetjoydesserts.com