DreamTree Project buys Ziggy’s, profits to support teen housing programs
March 1, 2019 (Taos, NM) -- DreamTree Project, an emergency youth shelter and transitional living program serving northern New Mexico, has announced the purchase of Ziggy’s Frozen Yogurt in Taos and their plan to turn the sweet shop into a revenue source and workforce development project for teens.
“We couldn’t pass on this opportunity: keeping a highly successful small business open, offering valuable employment opportunities for youth, and generating funds to support our programs is an amazing combination. The culture at Ziggy’s and how it empowers the youth employees has been crucial to its success; it’s hard to imagine a better alignment with our work with young people.”
Ziggy’s Frozen Yogurt first opened their doors at 1008A Paseo del Pueblo Sur in May of 2017. From the beginning, according to Hummel, the former owners, Steve Kennebeck and Bowe Ellis, had always made Ziggy’s a place where local youth felt welcome and could take personal responsibility for operating the business. They also made community giving and sponsorship a part of their business.
“This is such a natural fit for DreamTree Project. We’re inheriting a great legacy and are thrilled to marry their concept with our mission,” said Hummel.
Now, when customers stop by for a cup of froyo or a shake, one hundred percent of the profits will support DreamTree Project.
This latest acquisition marks DreamTree Project’s second foray into social enterprise — that’s business with a social cause.
In early 2018 the organization launched DreamTree Farms, a hydroponic agricultural project that creates revenue for their programs by growing and selling organic greens to local restaurants and markets.
Hummel expects to roll out workforce development projects at Ziggy’s and other news on how the froyo shop will benefit DreamTree Project this Fall.
“Our first move is to take the reins on operations and continue to do what Steve and Bowe did so well — serve great froyo.”
DreamTree Project has served youth throughout northern New Mexico since 1998. In 2000 they launched DreamTree Apartments, a transitional living program, and in 2011 expanded services to include an Emergency Youth Shelter. This year DreamTree Project completed a site-wide renovation that helped expand the shelter by 50 percent.
Currently, the DreamTree Project Emergency Youth Shelter can accommodate 8 residents, ages 12 - 17, for up to 90 days, while DreamTree Project evaluates the situation and helps youth navigate their options.
The Transitional Living Program at DreamTree Project is available to young people ages 16-24. DreamTree Project has capacity for up to 18 youth here who can stay for up to two years.
“By bringing Ziggy’s under our umbrella, we have even more ways to expand opportunities for youth and raise awareness and money for our services.”
“It’s pretty sweet,” said Hummel.