When Eileen Frazier, the chief operating officer of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, isn’t supervising five directors and 40 staff members, managing the operational aspects of the United Jewish Endowment Fund and acting as one of the team leaders for large-scale major organizational projects like the renovation of the Federation’s new headquarters building, she is thinking about happy cows—and how to infuse happiness in all she does.
Born in Washington, DC, Eileen met her husband, Alan, at the University of Maryland and has worked at the Federation for almost 20 years. Looking for a way to utilize her bounding energy and interests, she discovered the happy world of Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. In late August, she and her husband are opening a Menchie’s yogurt kiosk in Arundel Mills Mall, in Hanover, Maryland. Their two sons, ages 15 and 21, have eagerly assisted in product testing and competitive analysis. Eileen embraced Menchie’s spirit by selecting the corporate name “Mensch Makers, Inc.” and even changed her ringtone to Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy.”
Eileen says that opening a Menchie’s franchise marries well with her day job at Federation. The Menchie’s experience is more about the connections, memories and celebrations made within their stores than the yogurt they serve. “We embrace our people in everything they do,” says Amit Kleinberger, Menchie’s chief executive officer.
The Menchie’s operation is similar to Federation in that success depends on the coordination and cooperation of team members and respectful service to guests or donors. Not surprisingly, Eileen has hired a store manager to run the day-to-day operations of the kiosk, as this also mirrors how she leads at Federation where she values and trusts her directors and managers to act in the best interest of the organization.
Learning the process of opening a Menchie’s franchise has inspired Eileen to take things she’s learned and apply them in her role as a leader at Federation. She continues to focus on how processes can be more efficient and finds new ways to lead with positivity. At home, when she gets stymied in a situation, her husband now advises her to “Menchify it,” a process that consistently guides her forward to new solutions by focusing on the positive.
Founders Danna and Adam Caldwell opened their first Menchie’s in suburban Los Angeles in 2007. The couple went out for frozen yogurt on their first date, and when they decided to establish their own store, they gave it the name that Adam used for Danna: “my little menchie.” To please all customers with different dietary needs, Menchie’s offers gluten-free, vegan, low-carb, no-fat and no-sugar-added options, and the entire frozen yogurt line is certified kosher. Recipes are painstakingly developed to optimize flavor. Using fresh ingredients, they have created over 90 flavors.
As opposed to the larger stores in strip malls that have the space to offer 16 flavors each day, the Fraziers’ kiosk will have eight flavors. All Menchie’s serve vanilla, chocolate, a featured flavor (usually seasonal), a sorbet (vegan and dairy-free) and a no-sugar-added option. Beyond those, Eileen and her team will provide a rotating selection to have a balance of flavors and options for her guests. She plans to offer two different fruit flavors, at least one nutty/caramel and one with cake/cookie/brownie mix-ins. Menchie’s yogurt mixing machines are unique in that they can stir in small chunks of baked goods. In addition to the yogurt, her kiosk will have a full selection of 24 dry toppings, 18 chilled options, including fresh fruit, cheesecake and brownies bites, and several sauce toppings.
Are you smiling yet?
Menchie’s, 410-796-1032, 7000 Arundel Mills Circle KI01A, Hanover, MD, Monday–Saturday 10 am–9:30 pm, Sunday 11 am–7 pm. Kosher ingredients.