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updated: 3/17/2014 5:18 AM

Red Mango serving in Hoffman Estates

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  • Red Mango Frozen Yogurt and Smoothies opened earlier this winter in Hoffman Estates.

      Red Mango Frozen Yogurt and Smoothies opened earlier this winter in Hoffman Estates.
    Photo Courtesy of Red Mango

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An interview with Mark Bousman, co-owner of Red Mango Frozen Yogurt and Smoothies in Hoffman Estates.

Q: Describe your business:

A: We are a self service frozen yogurt shop. We feature 10 different flavors of yogurt and offer 40 different toppings. We also offer 30 different types of smoothies freshly made when you enter the store.

Q: What made you start the business?

A: We recognized the move toward healthy eating. We wanted to bring the Red Mango concept (gluten-free, all natural, no fat, and low calorie) to Hoffman Estates.

Q: What has been the most difficult part in getting the business started?

A: Being a start up I'd say just the ins and outs of owning a business. The weather hasn't cooperated much either.

Q: What do you enjoy most about the business?

A: When we ask people as they enter the store if they have ever been to Red Mango and they say "no." We enjoy the look on their face as they taste our product for the first time.

Q: When you were young what did you think you would do when you "grew up?"

A: We always wanted to own our own business. Fred and I have been friends for 30 years. We both left our positions in corporate America to start this venture. I was a director of finance and Fred was in customer service in the gaming industry. The combination on the health benefits and the taste made this too good to pass up.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: We know we have a great product with a great location, but we need to make sure we get the word out to as many residents as possible about our opening. We really feel we are bringing a superior product to the community.

Q: What is one tip you would give to someone just starting a business?

A: Preparation is key. There are going to be several things that happen pre-opening that aren't anticipated, but if you are prepared with a solid business plan you'll be OK.

Q: Tell us one fact about your business that most may not know.

A: It's one of the biggest frozen yogurt chains in America. We have about 300 stores nationwide. Our product contains probiotics and supports a healthy lifestyle. Once you try it you're hooked.

Q: How did you pick Red Mango over competitors?

A: When my business partner, Fred Speck and I decided to open a yogurt shop, we looked into several different franchises. After doing some research and visiting all of the top franchises in the Chicagoland area, we decided on Red Mango because we felt it was the healthiest alternative.

Q: What was your first paying job?

A: My first paying job was a paper route when I was 12 years old. I delivered the Marketeer then the Southtown Economist. When I was 15 I started work at our local McDonald's.

Q: Who is your target customer?

A: Our target customer is any one who is looking for a great tasting healthy treat. The majority of our customers are female between 18-44, that lead an active, healthy lifestyle. We also target young families with kids looking for a better alternative than ice cream.

Q: What has been the most popular flavor?

A: That's a tough one. I'd say it's a tie between our chocolate and strawberry sorbetto and milk chocolate.

• Every Monday we feature a small, suburban business. We want to hear about yours. Contact us at kmikus@dailyherald.com.

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