EVA's Treats: Frozen Yogurt Shop Celebrates Local Flavor

When the local Friendly's ice cream franchise closed in Ashland, Ohio, Nancy Pauly recognized an opportunity to open her own small ice cream and frozen yogurt shop, EVA's Treats.

Though she had visited a number of franchises specializing in frozen treats, Pauly decided to run her own small business so she could have more creative freedom to make business decisions.

"I wanted to be able to create a community-focused business that offered unique flavors and toppings that support and celebrate our city's small businesses," she said. To achieve that goal, Pauly partnered with local small business, Crazy Monkey Bakery, to provide granola toppings and sourced some of her other toppings from the local candy and nut shops in the downtown area.

Pauly worked with First National Bank to obtain an SBA-guaranteed loan to purchase top-of-the-line equipment to open her froyo shop in July 2013.

"The SBA's low-interest rate helped me buy the equipment that I needed to ensure that I was offering the best product to my customer," she said. "I think the SBA is such a vital part of the entrepreneur ecosystem because the agency provides extra backing to banks that allow small businesses to thrive and take calculated risks."

With the SBA-guaranteed loan, Pauly realized her dream, opening EVA's Treats and employing 18 workers, including local college students and teachers. She credits her employees with creating a welcoming environment that has attracted a loyal customer base.

As part of her expansion efforts, Pauly has partnered with several local public schools to provide frozen yogurt as a nutritional treat for students. She is also heavily involved in the Ashland community from a philanthropic standpoint, supporting local charities and initiatives.

The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce recognized her efforts and presented Pauly with the "Spirit of the Chamber" award. The organization also nominated her for the 2018 SBA Columbus District "Distinguished Business of the Year" award, which Pauly received in a ceremony on May 6, 2019, during National Small Business Week.