The Dolly Llama to Open First Florida Location

by Katie Lee

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. — The Dolly Llama, the L.A.-based waffle and artisanal ice cream sensation, plans to open in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., as part of the concept’s current 40-store national expansion plan. Projected to open within the next month, this location marks The Dolly Llama’s entry into the Sunshine State. The shop will be located within the Tournament Plaza.

“Our family is originally from Los Angeles and learned about the Dolly Llama through our son, who happened to be in school with the co-founder’s daughter,” says Josh Popkin, co-franchisee of The Dolly Llama Ponte Vedra Beach. “Co-founder Eric Shomof’s daughter would bring waffles and ice cream in for the class and our son would ask outside of school if we could visit The Dolly Llama. Not knowing the connection, we became frequent customers at the Koreatown location and later learned that Eric was the owner! We moved to Florida about a year ago, sold our accounting and bookkeeping practice, and were eager for a new venture. Both Wendy and I have experience in the restaurant and customer service industries so when the idea of franchising The Dolly Llama came up, we thought it would be a great idea. We love the product and unique flair that the brand is known for, and we are confident that this great beach community will love a fun dessert destination for locals and tourists alike.”

The Dolly Llama has several units under construction and in the works. Along with the Ponte Vedra Beach location, the concept is entering Nevada within the next month with locations in Las Vegas as part of a 5-unit deal. The Dolly Llama hopes to have a handful of other locations opened by the end of the year. Additional multi-unit deals that have been signed include additional Florida locations; Las Vegas; and Houston and Beaumont, Texas.

“Having had a personal relationship with Wendy and Josh prior, with our kids once being in the same class, presented a unique opportunity to do business with friends, and I couldn’t be more excited for the duo to launch in a brand new market,” says Shomof. “Josh has been a restaurateur before, having once co-owned three restaurants in Georgia, and Wendy’s background as a CPA and in business coaching creates a wonderful partnership and recipe for success. I have no doubt that the Ponte Vedra Beach, and greater Jacksonville community, will fall in love with the waffle and ice cream concept because a no-brainer combo is the beach and ice cream.”

The Dolly Llama currently operates three locations in greater Los Angeles and one location in Dallas. For more information, visit

The Dolly Llama was founded by Shomof and Samuel Baroux, an acclaimed European entrepreneur and restaurateur. The name was inspired by a real llama Baroux encountered on a farm in the South of France, and pays homage to his home country. Since its inception in 2017, The Dolly Llama has dominated LA’s waffle scene with its own unique take on the Bubble Waffle, Hong Kong’s #1 street food in addition to Dolly Llama Shakes and OG Waffles. In 2020, The Dolly Llama began franchising and has currently sold 40 units in major media markets across the country.



[EDITOR’S NOTE: To read Retail & Restaurant Facility Business magazine’s recent cover story on The Dolly Llama, click here.]



SOURCE: The Dolly Llama

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