((L-R) Fabian Clark and Ivan Juliao envision making Just Chillin a safe place where kids can hang out | Photo courtesy of Andrea Hine)
“While we felt Just Chillin’ Frozen Yogurt presented a viable financial opportunity, the compelling factor for both of us in deciding to buy the business was the opportunity to help the community’s youth,” said its new owners Fabian Clark and Ivan Juliao. “There’s not a lot for young people to do in La Pine.”
The decidedly non-capitalistic sentiment voiced by the two men (who are also in-laws) makes sense as they explained their backgrounds. Clark Is a long-time volunteer with kids, and serves on the board of Saving Grace, a Bend-based nonprofit that works to “build life free from violence,” according to its website. He also founded Camp Eagle Cap seven years ago, a faith-based organization that offers one-week wilderness camps in the Wallowa mountains of Eastern Oregon for at-risk kids ages 10-12, as well as ongoing mentoring.
Juliao, who shares Clark’s commitment to helping youth, explained that within 90 minutes of seeing the for-sale site, “I began to envision making Just Chillin a safe place where kids can hang out, perhaps do their schoolwork and spend time with their friends. Our goal is to create a family-friendly environment, where people can relax and dine together.” In their personal lives, not surprisingly, they readily admit that “for us, it’s all about family.”
A financial advisor for many years, Clark said, “I’ve always been a business guy” — while Juliao, an accountant who has lived in La Pine for about 18 months, “likes exploring the outdoors, meeting new people, and (no surprise here) — eating frozen yogurt. It’s a product I enjoy, and would enjoy selling,” he explained.
The co-owners will be upgrading the shop’s primary attraction, and serving Cuppa Yo Frozen Yogurt, a premium brand with several existing Bend locations and rotating flavors that include Luck O’ the Irish Mint, Strawberry Lemonade Sorbet and Newberry’s Cappuccino; standards such as Country Vanilla and Chocolate Classic; and seasonal favorites such as Pumpkin Pie and Eggnog.
Just Chillin’s extensive drink selections, both warm and cold, will remain on the menu, as will doughnuts. But in terms of other choices, “we’re still trying to learn what makes sense, based on what the community wants,” agreed the partners. (The shop’s current employees will be retained.)
Contemplating current and future competition (such as Badlands Distillery that sells espresso drinks), Juliao and Clark were adamant that “we welcome other local dining options, and the chance to work with other business owners to attract more people to La Pine. The health of the community is directly related to the success of its businesses.”