Calombaris’ former frozen yoghurt chain Yo-Chi finds new home with sons of Boost Juice founder Janine Allis


The Yo-Chi venue in Balaclava, Melbourne. Source: Facebook

Two of Janine Allis’ sons appear set to follow in their mother’s entrepreneurial footsteps, after it was revealed they are the new owners of Melbourne frozen yoghurt chain Yo-Chi.

Allis is well-known for her expertise in the food retail industry, having founded the Boost Juice business and grown sister brands Salsa’s Fresh Mex and Cibo Espresso as part of her Retail Zoo group.

Yo-Chi is a self-serve-style business that was established in 2013 by billionaire entrepreneur Manny Stul, along with Jason Solomon and Jon Stul, and sold to celebrity chef George Calombaris’ MAdE Establishment group in 2018.

It was the only business in the MAdE family that survived when the group collapsed into voluntary administration in February this year, following a $7.8 million wage theft scandal that pushed the business over the edge financially.

Yo-Chi has now been bought by a company called Embrace the Chi Pty Ltd, the shareholders of which are Oliver Allis and Riley Allis, according to The Age.

A search on the trademark register confirms that Embrace the Chi has recently taken ownership of a number of marks associated with the Yo-Chi business.

According to The Age, the sale of the business was handled by the Commonwealth Bank, which was the MAdE group’s largest creditor, as part of the bank’s bid to recover a loan to the collapsed hospitality group of $8.5 million.

All of the proceeds from the sale of Yo-Chi will go to the bank, and not to Calombaris or former Swisse vitamins boss Radek Sali, who was MAdE’s sole director and a significant investor in the business.

There are currently four Yo-Chi venues in Melbourne, located in Balaclava, Carlton, Hawthorn and Malvern.

SmartCompany contacted the Allis family for further comment.

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