When Melissa decided she wanted to own a small business, she never imagined that it would turn out to be a frozen yogurt business. She didn’t pursue frozen yogurt; frozen yogurt came to her. Dick and Jane Walker, trusted family friends, approached Melissa with the potential opportunity to purchase Swirls Frozen Yogurt from Neil and Ronna Ward. The pieces of the puzzle suddenly began to fall into place and it became clear to Melissa that this was her path.
“This has been a huge blessing for me,” Melissa says. “I was looking for the right opportunity at the right time, and that’s when God put the Wards in my path through our mutual friend. They were so helpful throughout the sale process and have actually become dear friends that continue to support and advise me in this business. The Walkers and Wards actually have a standing monthly dinner date with my husband and me which is not only a fun way to stay in touch but also serves as an opportunity to pick their brains about my latest frozen yogurt questions! I find myself growing and learning new skills daily which I’m incredibly thankful for. I truly believe that we learn new skills for reasons that we may not initially understand. But I know God understands the reasons and has a plan for my new skills.”
The Walkers came through for Melissa again when the time came for her to obtain the loan for the purchase of the business. They put her in touch with Molly Bailey at Paducah Bank. “I was very overwhelmed with the process,” Melissa confesses. “Everything was happening so fast! But Molly was so knowledgeable and helpful that she put me at ease. I really felt that I could trust her to guide me through the purchase.”
Swirls Frozen Yogurt is an independently-owned small business, not a franchise. This allows Melissa the freedom to make her business what she wants it to be according to her vision. That vision is to create a business that is involved in the community, builds relationships with customers, supports charitable work, and gives back to those who have given so much to others. “I have been so blessed, and in turn, I want to be a blessing to the community,” she tells us. One example of her vision in action is the 1,000 bookmarks she recently distributed to area schools as a reading incentive program. The idea is that each child who reads 10 books receives a bookmark which entitles them to 4 ounces of free yogurt!
Melissa wants Swirls to be about more than just frozen yogurt. She wants it to be a place where people come to have parties, where community groups come for meetings, where charitable groups host fundraisers, and where everyone wants to be. She is open to any new ideas for ways that her business can serve the community… more than frozen yogurt. Since she is in fact in the frozen yogurt business, we asked her if she has a favorite flavor. “It’s actually not just one flavor of yogurt,” she told us. “It’s really a combination of flavors: caramel pretzel and espresso flavored yogurts topped with pecans and whip cream. It tastes exactly like a caramel latte!”
If you want to try out her caramel latte concoction or make one of your own, stop by Swirls at 5187 Hinkleville Road, between Kirkland’s and Edible Arrangements. While you’re there, be sure to take the opportunity to talk with Melissa about how Swirls is serving the community more than frozen yogurt.
If you are a customer of Paducah Bank and would like us to feature your business, let us know by emailing Susan Guess at [email protected].