A new yogurt business opening in Wollongong next week is supporting beyondblue at the start of Mental Health Month by giving away frozen yogurt free during its first two days of trade.
Nick Fabrio, 23, and Himi Perera, 22, have been friends since high school but only recently decided to go into business together and launch a new brand called Clique Brothers.
Described as Wollongong's first self-serve frozen yogurt outlet, it will open at 78 Market Street on October 4-5.
Mr Fabrio is presently completing a commerce degree at UNSW and Mr Perera has completed his at UTS.
"We recently moved down here from the Hills district for a seachange," Mr Fabrio said.
Mr Perera said they chose Wollongong because of some of the people they had met previously from the city.
"I did a volunteering trip overseas for a month which was like a partnership between UTS and Wollongong Uni and all the guys from Wollongong were just top people. They said you have got to come down. And around the same time we had this business idea. So we checked it out and there is a lot going for Wollongong with all the redevelopment happening in the CBD.
"The economy is shifting a bit and Wollongong gets a lot of ticks. People are great and it is a great lifestyle change."
Mr Fabrio said they looked at starting their own brand or tapping into an existing franchise but decided they wanted to build something a little different from the ground up.
"We want to get the whole hands-on experience," he said.
Not only is their self-serve yogurt idea, which allows customers to control their own ingredients and toppings, a little different - so is their launch.
"We are giving away our frozen yogurt completely free to raise funds for beyondblue, a charity which I am personally very passionate about," Mr Fabrio said.
"Our vision is to accommodate over 1000 people into our store over the two-day period, which should ensure we achieve our fund-raising target. That is important because, statistically, in our age demographic, young males - one in four - are affected by a mental health issue."
And out of those, 80 per cent of males don't talk about it.
Mental Health Month is about raising awareness so more people feel comfortable with doing that.
Mr Fabrio said Clique Brothers was raising awareness by giving away its product for free and encouraging all those who take up the offer to make a donation of a similar amount instead of paying for their frozen yogurt.
The two young businessmen have been contacted by some other businesses saying they would like to help.
They were happy to hear from more who might be interested in helping to raise money and awareness for the cause.
Mr Perera said what they were trying to create with their business, Clique Brothers - Yogurt With Friends, was a place where people could come and relax and enjoy a yogurt while chilling out with their friends.
"It is going to be a real social setting," he said.
"The background is when we were growing up we had this tight-knit group of friends and we just wanted to create that same vibe in our store."