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CEO of Menchie's Frozen ...
CEO of Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, Amit Kleinberger, discusses the importance of maintaining culture throughout his rapidly growing franchise in Entrepreneur.
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt CEO, Amit Kleinberger, graces the cover of Franchise Times, garnering a several page feature regarding being the number one ranked brand in terms of growing smart.
Amit Kleinberger, CEO of Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, was profiled in a full page feature by Los Angeles Times, showcasing his entrepreneurial path to success with the frozen yogurt brand.
Menchie's CEO Amit ...
Menchie's CEO Amit Kleinberger.
Photo courtesy of Menchie's
Perhaps it was a Michael J. Fox movie about a plucky corporate mailroom worker in New York City who works his way to the top that put Amit Kleinberger on the road to business-empire success.
Or maybe it was the time he
spent honing his
leadership skills in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Most recently, Kleinberger
embarked on another new business: He's
launching a chain of dine-in pizza restaurants called MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza.
"Ever since I can remember, I found business fascinating," Kleinberger
said in a recent phone interview.
"When I was a kid, I remember that even watching movies, business movies, to me were just fascinating.
The whole idea of commerce, I just found it very intriguing."
Born in Jerusalem, Kleinberger spent his childhood in Israel and South Africa, where his parents moved for a time because of job obligations.
father is an engineer, and his
mother worked as a teacher and later as principal at a large high school.
grew up in the Reform Jewish tradition, but also learned from his
parents to respect people of all backgrounds and faiths.
was drawn to the world of business early on.
At about age 10, he
remembers getting hold of a copy of the 1987 movie "The Secret of My Success.
In it, a young college graduate played by Michael J. Fox works his
way up from the mailroom to head of a company.
watched the movie endlessly.
After working various part-time jobs through his
teenage years, Kleinberger
entered the military.
He served three years in the IDF, and graduated from commander and sergeant schools.
Along the way, he
learned invaluable lessons that later would help him in the business world.
"The military is probably the most instrumental piece in my leadership.
There's three things that I've taken from the military: leading by example, appreciating people and humanity, and the discipline and ethic of hard work and perseverance," he
"You take those values - things that are well, well instilled in the military - those are probably the things I use the most."
In his early 20s, Kleinberger moved to the United States to pursue what he thought was his dream - becoming a defense attorney.
enrolled in Santa Monica College
, but quickly dropped out after he
passion lay elsewhere.
With what little money he
'd saved, he opened his
first business, a cellular equipment store.
built that business into a chain of 26 locations.
After selling the stores, Kleinberger
started and later sold two other businesses.
First came a window products distribution company, then an assisted living facility, for which he
obtained an administrator license from the California Department of Social Services
, who lives in Encino with his
wife, Carrie, an Agoura High School teacher, said Menchie's
is successful because it combines quality frozen yogurt (made from hormone-free milk) with good service and ambience, creating a total experience for the customer.
The brand, much like Disney, is instantly recognizable when you encounter it, he
Kleinberger also credits the franchisees and the people who work at Menchie's for the company's success.
learned to pay more attention to what happens on the frontlines of the business after he
starred in two episodes of the television series "Undercover Boss.
On the CBS
worked in stores without letting on that he
was the chief executive officer, serving yogurt, and cleaning restrooms and machines.
even spent a day at a dairy farm assisting with the birth of a calf.
"It was probably one of the most interesting experiences of my life," Kleinberger
said with a chuckle.
"I didn't see that coming.
I was raised in an urban environment, not so much a farming environment.
Seeing a calf pop out is probably something I won't forget."
Looking back on his
wildly varied business career, Kleinberger
divides its trajectory into two phases.
During the first phase, his
focus was trying out new business ideas, which often came to him through coincidence, he
Later, with the senior care facility and now Menchie's and MidiCi - which currently has one location in Sherman Oaks, with plans for more nationwide - he sought something more meaningful: to honor and celebrate people.
The goal at Menchie's
, with its swirly-headed mascot, multiple flavors and wide variety of toppings, is to make people smile, he
The CEO of Menchie's Frozen ...
The CEO of Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, Amit Kleinberger, says that his team offers him their utmost because he offers small gestures, like bringing in food trucks, several times a year.
Menchie's CEO Amit ...
Menchie's CEO Amit Kleinberger
Menchie's CEO Amit Kleinberger
After receiving overwhelming support from the local community and its desire to franchise, the Caldwells agreed it was time to expand, and called upon the expertise of Elie Balas and Amit Kleinberger
Chief Executive Officer Amit Kleinberger has a bit more of a dramatic story, such as almost being run over by a hijacked bus back when he served in the Israeli army.
As a veteran and graduating from commanders and sergeants school, Kleinberger
leadership skills and ambitious business savvy by owning a glass distribution company and another chain of stores of (no not some other dessert) cellular communications.
Moreover, by owning an assisted living facility, Kleinberger
emphasizes putting heart into your company, by taking care of customers, for as he
Outsourced Sales - Franchise Performance Group
Amit Kleinberger, CEO of Menchie's: "We hired Franchise Performance Group in December of 2009 to help design our franchise sales process, create franchise sales tools, build out our franchise sales team, and train and develop the team into peak performing recruiters.