Frios closes in Alabaster, shifts to mobile business
By DONNAMY STEELE | Special to the Reporter
ALABASTER – After a great run at the Frios Gourmet Pops storefront location in Alabaster, the business is going mobile.
Owner Michael Weidenbach said he is excited to expand their service area and allow their business to grow in a new direction during the year.
“Our plan for the last few years was to be a brick and mortar business,” Weidenbach said. “2020 was an unusual year for brick and mortars, and we decided we would be more profitable with a truck. We closed our store at the end of December and are currently outfitting our new office location, which will have storage for our new vehicles. We’re just waiting for the weather to warm up and our season to start.”
Weidenbach said the goal for this year is to change the Frios business plan to adapt to the new reality. This includes hiring more employees and selling their products wholesale to other businesses in the area.
“We are looking into getting a second truck and finding new employees,” Weidenbach said. “We want to work up new relationships with the schools in the area, and we are actually looking for businesses who want to buy our products wholesale. That is one of our main focuses this year.”
Frios has a terrific core group of customers that have supported the business from the beginning, Weidenbach said. In 2020, the business was able to expand its customer base, which is something Weidenbach looks forward to doing more of in 2021.
“Locals in the Alabaster area that have supported us since the beginning would come through our drive thru after school and on the weekends, and we are thankful for those relationships,” Weidenbach said. “2020 made it easier to reach out to new customers. Our focus is to continue with our old ones and seek out new ones. We want to bring the store to those who have not sought out our store yet.”
Although they will no longer have a storefront in Alabaster, Frios is still Alabaster central. Weidenbach said the home base is in Alabaster and they are also the franchisees serving the Birmingham area.
“We are lucky enough to be the franchisees for the Birmingham area,” Weidenbach said. “One of the great things about going mobile this year is we hope to utilize these areas and be as successful in those areas as we have been in Alabaster and hopefully round out our business and make it stronger.”
To keep track of the Frios truck each week, visit their Facebook page and Twitter handle @FriosBirmingham for updates.
“We are thankful for everyone who has been coming to the store,” Weidenbach said. “We will miss seeing you at the store every day, but you can track the location of the truck every week via social media. We will be communicating on Facebook and Twitter, and we hope you will seek us out. We will be coming to your neighborhood so keep an eye out.”