Hometown Couple Purchases Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Store
If you polled the general population, many folks would likely admit they’ve experienced love at first lick when it comes to devouring ice cream or frozen yogurt. Trevor Bernhardt, however, only had eyes for his wife Stephanie when she stepped inside of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt back in 2013.
Trevor and Stephanie grew up in Avon and attended Avon schools. They didn’t know each other well because Trevor played Avon Junior Athletic Association (AJAA) sports while Stephanie spent most of her free time rehearsing for musical productions. Trevor started working at Orange Leaf as a sophomore. When Stephanie came into the store the following year to apply for a job, a smitten Trevor was quick to encourage his boss to hire her.
“My first day working there, my mom whispered to me, ‘That tall Trevor boy is sweet on you,” Stephanie recalls. “I was like, ‘Whatever, mom.’”
But moms know.
One day Stephanie arrived for a shift, dejected after receiving a haircut she didn’t like much.
“I was feeling really down about how I looked, and Trevor left me this sweet Post-it note to cheer me up,” Stephanie says. “I thought, ‘Maybe this boy does like me.’”
The pair started hanging out and soon became best friends, even sharing a favorite treat – pistachio gelato.
“It was kind of a cool transition going from best friends to dating,” Stephanie says, adding that the couple even took their prom picture at Orange Leaf.
After graduating from Avon High School, Trevor began a job at a local car dealership. Stephanie attended IUPUI, working at Orange Leaf throughout her college years while studying event management. She majored in tourism, which focused heavily on the hospitality and restaurant management industries.
Last June the couple got married and served Orange Leaf at their wedding reception.
Three months prior to the wedding, Stephanie and Trevor purchased the Avon Orange Leaf business from their former boss. It was a dream come true for Stephanie, who had heard the manager at the Evansville Orange Leaf bought the store from her boss.
In the span of a few short months, the couple bought a business, graduated from college and got married.
Owning a business has proved to be both exciting and exhausting for the couple.
“There’s no one holding your hand and walking you down the path of success, and suggesting what the right process is,” Trevor says. “Instead, any process you set in place, you have to determine if it’s the best one.”
The pair balance each other’s strengths, which has helped the business thrive.
“We are strong in different areas,” says Trevor, who works at a car dealership as a sales manager while Stephanie runs the day-to-day operation of the Orange Leaf business.
Best of all, they adore what they do.
“I love being in the store and talking to customers,” Stephanie says. “I also love getting out into the community and mingling at events.”
Growing up in Avon, both Trevor and Stephanie made a number of connections through school, work and the AJAA. In fact, Orange Leaf is a platinum sponsor for AJAA.
“We are definitely big community-oriented people,” Trevor says. “You don’t get that everywhere. We have regulars who have been coming in ever since we first started working here. I’ve cultivated relationships with customers, and made friends and mentors through this job.”
Stephanie has seen babies grow into toddlers and beyond.
“It’s a privilege to be in someone’s life in that way,” she says. “We are all about making people feel special and helping them have a good time.”
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt is about to hit its 10-year mark, so the Bernhardts have begun to freshen up the store with new paint, furniture and digital menu boards. They will continue to introduce new flavors, and expand their product line with smoothies, shakes, acai bowls, to-go pints, and froyo cakes. In addition to expanding their own frozen product line, they recently brought in a baking company, Bamber’s Sweet Creations, to offer various baked goods.
“(Bamber’s is) able to do custom, decorated cake creations, and private orders for birthdays, weddings, graduations and more,” Stephanie says. “Our items pair really well together.”
One of the best parts about owning Orange Leaf for the couple is getting to be part of customer festivities and milestones.
“People come here to relax and celebrate with their families and friends,” Stephanie says. “Parents bring their kids here after getting a flu shot because this is their reward. We’re giving out free samples and playing music. Creating that memorable experience to make someone’s life sweeter is really special.”
Starting this year, the Avon location is a test store for new flavors. The goal is to try out five different flavors per quarter in addition to seasonal flavors. For instance, as the weather warms, the company brings out refreshing fruit flavors such as lemon bar and pink lemonade. In the fall there’s always a pumpkin flavor such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake or pumpkin spice latte.
Orange Leaf also offers dairy-free options. In fact, topping the list of fan favorites is dairy-free pineapple and dairy-free orange. The couple has both of those flavors year-round, along with brownie batter, and rotates between wedding cake and birthday cake.
“We are always trying to come up with new flavors, especially in the dairy-free realm, as those options are very popular with our customers,” Stephanie says.
The other big attraction? The famous orange spoons.
“They are shaped like little shovels and people love them,” Trevor says.
Running a frozen treat store, the couple has to think about what other offerings they can bring to customers in the winter when frozen yogurt sales may slow. Therefore, they offer office party and holiday catering, as well as birthday parties, weddings, graduation parties, sporting events and concession stands.
“We do it all including mobile delivery – things like DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, Postmates and EZCaterer,” Stephanie says. “A lot of people don’t realize that we can bring the product to you in the comfort of your own home.”
You may wonder how frozen products could transport well, but they do.
“When we do sporting events for AJAA we’re out there for four to five hours, but our catering cups are prepackaged and we deep freeze them, then store them in a cooler,” Stephanie says. “We try to be as creative as possible to combat those slow times, but it’s a fun challenge asking ourselves, ‘How can we make that sale that we didn’t have last year?’”
The Bernhardts love Avon, calling it a decent-sized town with a small-town feel.
“Hendricks County is definitely growing as more people move to, and visit, this area,” Stephanie says. “As a result, Hendricks County is starting to offer a lot more, and that’s exciting to be in on the county when it’s just about to really take off.”
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt is located at 7565 East US Highway 36 in Avon. For more info, call 317-272-5323 or visit orangeleafyogurt.com.