Posted by Kate Borders
You think this is about Yogurt? Wrong! It’s about Etc. Today Yogurt Etc. ceremoniously cut the red ribbon in Downtown Fresno with a couple hundred guests. Our honorable “Mayor Ashley” (as she was affectionately called by the business owners) welcomed them along with many other city leaders. Craig Scharton MC’d the ceremony and the new downtown business owners, David Goldberg and Hector Parra, thanked their families and the community for bringing their dream to reality. And then there was yogurt for everyone! But again, this isn’t about yogurt.
Etc. – This is about tradition. Ribbon cutting ceremonies actually stem from European weddings where brides would cut the ribbon before entering the church to symbolize new beginnings and an exit of an old path. The first recorded business ribbon cutting was in 1898 for the opening of a railroad line in northern Louisiana (fun little tidbit). Rituals are comforting to us and they signify continuity from one generation to the next. We haven’t had enough ribbon cuttings lately and today’s event brought a whisper of hope to all that attended … new beginnings.
Etc. – This is about family. David gave us insight into the name of the business, Yogurt Etc., which ties back to his grandfather who founded another business with the word “Etc” in it. Any ideas? Both men spoke of entrepreneurship as part of their upbringing, a spirit that is and always has been the backbone of downtown. And their wives/fiancés were both present, which brings home the basic nature of business ownership, which is to support a family. These gentlemen were nurtured by their families, are supported by their partners, and this business will create jobs that continue that line.
Etc. – This is about Downtown (I know you were waiting for that one). David said, “People asked why we weren’t opening this business in Clovis or River Park, but I believe in Downtown. I moved downtown into the lofts and I am opening this business downtown because I believe the future of downtown is bright.” Another sentiment that is symbolized in the ribbon cutting is that of overcoming challenges. We know that we have obstacles in our path as we move toward a new downtown (there are no shortage of people telling us what we need to fix … as if we didn’t know), but we need people willing to put a stake in the ground and say, “right here, right now, I am doing THIS! I am contributing to the cure of my community TODAY!” Today these two men unequivocally sent the message that downtown is worthy of our investment.
Etc. – This is about cleverly meeting the needs of the marketplace. So let’s talk about what “Etc.” means to these two guys? It means that they have intelligently and thoughtfully created a business plan that will lead to an experience. Downtown doesn’t need yogurt alone, and they know that. Downtown needs lunch items (enter a variety of hot dogs and chilis). Downtown needs breakfast options (enter bagels, oatmeal and eggs). Downtown needs vegetarian and vegan options (enter a vegan dog, vegetarian chili and sorbets). Downtown needs more business owners with passion and staying power (enter David and Hector.)
So go check out Yogurt, Etc., but don’t think for one moment that the delicious cup of creamy yogurt with heath bar toppings is what this is about. This is just the beginning.