Thursday, June 14, 2007


So on my flight to Seoul a couple weeks ago I came across this short piece in Fortune talking about the Pinkberry craze. This prompted me to write to Fortune the following email:

To the Editors:

It's no secret in South Korea and within the Korean American community that Pinkberry did not get their idea from Vienna but from Red Mango, who opened their first store a few years before Pinkberry. Just visit the first Red Mango in Seoul and you will see that the design of Pinkberry's store is very similar (if not exact) along with the concept and taste of their frozen yogurt. It will be interesting to see who wins out in this fad to the finish.

Bernard Moon
Palo Alto, CA

More of the Fortune article...

It came from Los Angeles
Pinkberry's tart-yet-sweet frozen yogurt has attracted investors, and inspired competitors, says Fortune's Matthew Boyle. Is it the next hot franchise?
By Matthew Boyle
May 25 2007

Launched in Los Angeles two years ago by a failed restaurateur and a former nightclub bouncer, Pinkberry could become the next hot franchise. This purveyor of tart-yet-sweet swirled yogurt is dubbed "Crackberry" by its fans (no, it's not made by Research in Motion). Devotees include celebrities Salma Hayek, Jerry Seinfeld, and Paris Hilton. It has also drawn the interest of Starbucks (Charts, Fortune 500) founder Howard Schultz, who, along with representatives from his venture capital firm Maveron, reportedly met with Pinkberry's founders last November. (Maveron declined to comment.)

"I've been practicing franchise law for 18 years, and this is one of a very few [concepts] that I have ever seen" on such a fast track, says Lori Lofstrom, Pinkberry's franchise lawyer. (full article)

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