NNU student lands a yogurt franchise as graduation nears

Martin Lira
Martin Lira Northwest Nazarene University

Martin Lira won’t be one of those students caught up in the angst of finding a job when he graduates from Northwest Nazarene University this spring.

He got his job on Wednesday.

Lira, a graduate of Skyview High School in Nampa in 2011, was awarded a franchise for a Cherry Berry Self-Serve Yogurt Bar, a division of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

His store will be in Broken Arrow, Okla., about 20 minutes southwest of Tulsa. The store opened in 2011.

New yogurt franchises typically cost about $350,000. Lira will get his for about the price of a new car and will be financed through Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for five years, the university said.

Lira beat out two other students in an NNU competition to lay out plans for running the franchise. Their efforts were judged by an eight-person panel that included Casey Crail, university program manager and field consultant at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

“I’ve been working the whole semester toward this,” Lira said. “The next step is getting packed and starting to plan for a move to Oklahoma.”

This is the second year that NNU has teamed with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in the entrepreneurial competition.

“I think what made Martin stand apart was that every section of his business plan was detailed to the point that I could see an existing franchise write it,” Crail said.