On Tuesday, Spoonlickers, the popular Grand Rapids-based frozen yogurt company, announced expansion plans including new products, catering and new stores.

Spoonlickers has formed a partnership with local entrepreneur Martin Stein to expand the business and grow its product offerings. Stein is also the founder and managing director of the private equity firm Blackford Capital.

Spoonlickers serves handcrafted frozen desserts with products free of corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors. Spoonlickers uses sources from West Michigan dairy farmers and locally-produced fruits when possible. They also create most of their toppings in their own central bakery in Eastown.

"When my family and I started Spoonlickers, we did it with every intention of eventually partnering with someone who could help us grow the business and take it to the next level," commented Spoonlicker's Founder and CEO, David Darling. "Our goal was to create a compelling brand, with healthy, one-of-a-kind products, and tremendous customer satisfaction, and then expand. Given Martin's background of working with family-owned businesses, his commitment to the state of Michigan, and his four kids' love of Spoonlickers, we found the ideal partner and are excited to see how we can grow."

The partners intend to rapidly expand the brand and its offerings through the opening of new store locations, increasing the focus on corporate and private catering, and growing Spoonlickers' line of products in regional grocery stores, super centers and restaurants.

"I believe the market for Spoonlickers lies well outside the boundaries of our own local economy," said Stein. "The story, the brand, and the products have the potential to take the self-serve dessert industry by storm."

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