Iowa City’s Yotopia up for sale

Veronica Tessler is looking to sell Yotopia after a decade of owning the frozen yogurt business in Iowa City. She opened the business back in 2011 at the age of 25.


Grace Smith

Yotopia, a frozen yogurt business in Iowa City is seen on Monday, May 2, 2022. Owner Veronica Tessler is looking to sell Yotopia after 10 years of maintaining the business.

Sam Knupp, News Reporter

After a decade in business, Yotopia’s owner is looking to sell.

Veronica Tessler, owner of Yotopia, announced on Facebook on Monday afternoon that after owning the business since 2011, she’s looking to pass the torch.

“It is most important to me to find a new owner who can give the business the care and attention it deserves,” she said in the post. “The future of the Ped Mall is bright, and I’ve developed a wholesale operation that I project will make the business stronger than ever.”

The decision to sell Yotopia came from wanting to focus on her Des Moines business, Nosh, a cafe and eatery that opened in 2019, Tessler said in an interview with The Daily Iowan.

Tessler said anyone interested in buying the business is welcome to contact her over email or through social media.

“The ideal scenario would be to find somebody young and ambitious like I was when I started Yotopia,” she said, “Of course, it’d be really great to find a young woman. But I am open to selling it to anybody who would want to carry on the tradition.”

Tessler said while she’s looking to sell, she is open to staying on in some capacity.

“One way is to just sell it outright. And another way is to bring on an operating partner,” she said. “So I can’t say with certainty how the sale will happen, but I’m open to different options.”

Tessler opened Yotopia in 2011 at 25, after securing a $110,000 loan from MidwestOne Bank. She was able to pay off the loan after a year of business, having grossed $750,000.

“It started with just that deep desire to bring fro-yo to Iowa City,” she said. “And it’s been just a delight to serve this community for as long as we have and build the partnerships and the loyal customer base that we have.”

Over the past decade, the frozen yogurt market has declined, with many locations closing across the country. Despite this, Yotopia has still remained an Iowa City hotspot.

Tessler said the business’s sustained success has come from its willingness to adapt, adding non-dairy options for vegans and frozen custard to its menu.

“Connecting with the community — the art community, the student community — to contribute to a strong downtown culture, and our location has been huge for our success,” she said.

The store’s location in Pedestrian Mall, not far from the University of Iowa has also been helpful, she said.

“It’s been a dream come true to start a business in downtown Iowa City and to find the support of this community that’s kept us going through thick and thin,” Tessler said. “But I’m looking to make some life changes and close this chapter because I have other ambitions and other things that I want to work on.”

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