FroYo and Cupcake business goes belly up
Gainesville, Georgia-based Sweet Monkey Frozen Yogurt & Cupcakes has seemingly ceased all operations. The franchise concept started in Gainesville in 2011. While the Gainesville location on Dawsonville Highway is no longer listed on the company's website, three other locations in Buford, Cumming, and Atlanta at Emory Pointe are. Despite their presence on the website, all locations have closed. Strangely, in the case of the store at Emory Pointe, there is no signage alerting patrons to the closure and the store looks like it could reopen at any time. While there is signage up at the location in Cumming, it's been up for months and hints at temporary closure where they "hope to reopen again before Christmas."
According to the Sweet Monkey website, the chain had distribution (through unknown channels) nationwide.
"Keeping with our mission to create unique, one of a kind experiences for our customers, we created the world's first Cupcake Push Up (and of course received a patent for it!) You can now find our cupcakes all over the country, from locations like the MGM and Wynn Casinos in Las Vegas, Nickelodeon Universe in Minnesota, Gatorland in Florida, and around 100 other stores and locations around the country and still counting!"
The website goes on to say...
"Sweet Monkey has grown into one of the most recognized neighborhood brands and a favorite with those that have visited us or tried our products! Since 2011, we have opened several more Sweet Monkey stores around metro Atlanta, and with help from our Franchising partners, we are actively expanding into other cities around the country. Look for a Sweet Monkey near you!"
According to a franchise offering on a third party website, "Sweet Monkey Frozen Yogurt & Cupcakes is currently the leading self-serve frozen yogurt chain in the Southeast."
Sweet Monkey was one of a handful of Atlanta area concepts to marry two popular dessert items: cupcakes and frozen yogurt. Cloud 9, based in Roswell also married the two. Cloud 9 expanded from their flagship Roswell location to smaller food court operations in both Lenox Square and Perimeter Mall. Today, all have closed.
Sweet Monkey also attempted to extend their business with the addition of "Mobile Monkey," essentially a food truck version of their business. The reportedly patented unit was designed to be made available to patrons at high traffic events like fairs, sporting events and other outings. Attending the IAAPA Show in Orlando in 2012, I witnessed the "Mobile Monkey" at work, but questioned the viability of the unit. I was unable to confirm the whereabouts of the Mobile Monkey.