One of Northern Ireland’s leading providers of tyres and automotive services has affirmed its commitment to invest up to £2million in the business, creating at least 15 new jobs and a new training facility upskilling the next generation of fitters.
Kerr’s Tyres & Auto, a family-run business first established in 2002, has announced plans to invest in its current premises throughout the province with plans to open a further two additional centres over the next two years.
énergie Fitness, Ireland’s fast-growing, national low-cost, high-value fitness franchise has signalled significant expansion plans following an injection of €3.5 million into the Irish market. A further €3million is ear marked for growth in the NI and Scottish market, with the group exploring European markets such as Poland in the months ahead.
With 20 franchise locations, already operating throughout parts of Ireland, the company has announced plans to have upwards of 12 additional locations open or in development through strategic franchise partnerships in the next year. This would create 120 local jobs and 48 self-employed opportunities; plus, see membership numbers increase from 25,000 to over 40,000.
Spoon Street, the brand largely credited for introducing the recent frozen yogurt craze to Northern Ireland, opened the doors to its third store on the Lisburn Road in South Belfast. The opening of this new Lisburn Road self-serve ‘froyo’ branch, which is creating 13 local jobs, marks yet another milestone in the brand’s short history here – three thriving stores in just over two years.
First experiencing self-serve frozen yogurt while working in New Jersey, entrepreneurial couple Katie Waddell (24) and fiancé Harry Wang (31) soon adopted the US-inspired concept and began the process of transporting it to Northern Ireland in 2014.
A relatively new phenomenon to Northern Irish taste buds, ‘froyo’ – a popular acronym used to describe the treat – is a frozen dessert most commonly made from yogurt and is a popular treat of choice among young consumers.
Growth in the frozen yogurt market has been significant in the UK. Frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative to ice cream by as many as two in five ice cream and frozen yogurt users* which highlights the potential for the segment to grow further.
Spoon Street has garnered endless awards and built up a strong, loyal customer base in a relatively short period. Speaking on the opening of the Lisburn Road store, co-owner of Spoon Street, Katie Waddell, said:
“This new store marks our commitment to expanding our business offering in Northern Ireland and is reflective of our success. This is our biggest opening to date and we have introduced new state-of-the-art technology to elevate our service delivery and ensure our customer experience is first-class. We are trying to create a multi-media experience and customers can now expect to find tablet flavour screens, iPad POS systems with customer display units, feature lighting and an area dedicated to screening family-friendly films.
“It was only last month that we celebrated the two-year anniversary since the opening of our Ballyhackamore store in East Belfast. We had always set out to create a chain, one that embraced creativity in a fun setting and the Lisburn Road was the next logical step in that process, bringing the Spoon Street brand to an entire new audience.”
Talking on the job creation, Katie adds:
“As we continue to expand the Spoon Street brand, we are also continuing to grow the Spoon Street family. We’re delighted that the anticipation and expected customer-base around opening of our newest store has allowed us to create an additional 13 jobs.”
Built upon a motto of cool creativity, Spoon Street affords consumers complete freedom in creating their preferred frozen yogurt treat; from self-serving the yogurt itself, to the broad choice of toppings which include, but are not limited to, mixed fruit, berries and nuts, as well as more indulgent options such as jellies, biscuits and all manner of chocolatey treats.
Spoon Street prides itself on the ability to source weird and wonderful toppings from around the world, such as Japanese Mochi, Taiwanese juice balls and coconut jelly. It also offers a wide range of dietary requirements including dairy free options, gluten free options, lactose free options, sugar free options and vegan friendly options.