LAHORE: On the famous MM Alam road of Lahore, American brands Mrs Fields and TCBY (The Country’s Best Yogurt) — known for their deliciously chewy cookies and frozen yogurt — received a great response at the opening of their joint franchise this month.
Such a venture is the first of its kind in Pakistan because it provides TCBY’s renowned frozen yogurt which is advertised for its health benefits and quality, and Mrs Field freshly baked cookies, all under one roof.
“We just quietly opened our doors and the response has been amazing,” says Aasya Malik, the cafe’s owner who, after living in America for several years, moved back to launch this franchise. Malik also claims that she had to open the cafe a little before the scheduled date as several people kept coming to their doors for frozen yogurt or cookies.
With the aim of maintaining quality, everything — from the dough to coffee — had been imported, confirmed Malik. Determined to make this project bigger, she also added that she would bring the cafe to major cities such as Islamabad and Karachi in the future.
An interesting aspect of the design of the cafe is its modern layout which allows space for activities such as open mic events. “We want to provide a platform for youngsters. We haven’t put any paintings on our walls because we want to encourage local artists,” says Malik. As a result of this approach, the interior of the cafe is slightly different from fast food or quick-stop cafe settings in America.
The outlet, which allows one to try assorted cookies and a range of imported frozen yogurts, is likely to become a hangout spot for people of all ages. Usman Ayub, a student, said that it was great thing that Pakistan finally got Mrs Fields, as it is a quality brand. He further added that the most important thing of the cafe is its atmosphere, which “provides an environment for people to relax and have fun”.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2011.