Nationwide Expansion Leads 16 Handles to Launch Stores Across Key Texas Markets

Frozen Dessert Brand to Debut in State with Five Franchisees Opening in Houston, Dallas and Austin this Spring

NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — New York City’s beloved self-serve frozen yogurt and soft serve shop, 16 Handles, will mark its Texas debut in a significant way – with the opening of six stores throughout Houston, Dallas, and Austin this spring, with additional units under development. 

16 Handles sets itself apart with modern store design, an exclusive and addictive product lineup, and an unparalleled customer experience. The menu features 16 different soft serve flavors, over 50 toppings and sauces, as well as a variety of frozen novelties such as cakes, cookie dough, and take-home pints. The brand’s largest franchisee, Neil Hershman, acquired the chain and became the brand’s CEO in 2022 and teamed up with celebrity YouTuber Danny Duncan as an investor.

“We are eager to go big in Texas, and I’m ecstatic that we have had the opportunity to team up with experienced local business owners who are passionate about bringing the best dessert to their communities. 16 Handles is focused on scaling at the right time in the right way and bringing a lot of excitement around frozen yogurt and soft serve!” said Hershman.

The brand has signed the following franchise agreements throughout the state:

  • Magnolia, TXRyan and Crystal Waugh have signed an agreement to open two 16 Handles locations – one in Magnolia, TX and a second in Northwest Houston. The couple runs a successful winery in California and recently moved back to Texas where they are excited to bring their business acumen to the frozen dessert space, hoping to make 16 Handles the go-to spot in Magnolia. The couple’s two sons will also be involved in the business.
  • Frisco, TXSachin and Aparna Deshpande, a husband-and-wife duo, will open a store in Frisco, TX. The pair bring a combined background in tech/IT and accounting to the new business. The franchisee support offered by the brand is what initially drew them to 16 Handles over competitors.
  • Missouri City, TX – Couple Myles and Tabatha Abshire will open a store in Missouri City and say they are excited to build a place for the community to connect. Myles has a family history of franchising, and the duo has a background in public relations, marketing and business.
  • Austin, TXJim Duffy brings a wealth of experience to 16 Handles, combining his knowledge and passion after years of working in the restaurant industry with a background in software technology. He is looking forward to opening his location in Austin and building a connection with the community for himself and his two young kids.
  • Richmond, TXDavid and Lin Ding will open a 16 Handles in Richmond, TX. Lin has always dreamed of being a business owner, and after meeting the 16 Handles team and witnessing how the brand helps the franchisee succeed, she knew it would be the right fit for her and her family. David works in project management for a large oil company. The pair are raising their two daughters and loved the community and the idea of having a business their kids can be involved in.

“The energy right now within 16 Handles and the leadership of the company is so forward-thinking in looking at what the next generation wants. We are extremely excited to partner with the brand and grow in Texas during this exciting time of growth,” said Ryan Waugh.

Myles Abshire added: “We wanted to have more touch points with the community and embrace the community we live in. 16 Handles is giving us the opportunity to create a place for more people to connect and gather and we’re really excited to partner with local schools and businesses for a sense of community and dessert.”

To learn more about 16 Handles and its franchising opportunities, visit

About 16 Handles
16 Handles opened its first store in Manhattan’s East Village in 2008, becoming the first self-serve frozen yogurt shop in New York City. Since then, the brand has expanded to over 30 locations with a menu that includes frozen yogurt, ice cream, vegan soft serve, endless toppings, drinks, and other treats and snacks. Each shop’s full menu is available in store and via the 16 Handles app. In addition to creating irresistible desserts, 16 Handles works closely with local and national organizations in partnerships and fundraisers. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Sara Faiwell, Fishman Public Relations, [email protected] or 847-945-1300

SOURCE 16 Handles

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