Walk into the Yonutz dessert shop in Sunrise, Florida, and you might find brand ambassador Angelo Bahu making a TikTok for his more than 2.6 million followers.
By creating and sharing how he builds extravagant and extraordinary dessert concoctions, Bahu has helped the family-run business financially thrive while garnering a massive social media following.
"It's not hard to resonate with a brand that's just so amazing. We are the best dessert shop you'll ever find yourself walking into," Bahu said on "Mornings with Maria" Thursday. "We have donuts, ice cream, milkshakes, but what we're famous for is something called the Smash Donut, where we put ice cream in a donut and hot press it."
While Bahu works at the Florida flagship store, his TikTok popularity and promotion led to Yonutz opening two other locations in Boise, Idaho, and Las Vegas, Nevada. The business’ success even caught the eye of original "Shark" entrepreneur Kevin Harrington, who’s partnering with the dessert shop to have more than 30 locations up and running by the end of next year.
"That's allowed this process to be just so much easier and quicker," Bahu said of the ‘Shark Tank’ alumn's investment. "And we have about three more locations opening by the end of this year, and we're expected to have 30 to 35 by the end of next year. And it's just exponential growth. It's so exciting to see."
Bahu got the idea to share his dessert work on TikTok after watching food bloggers’ posts and pictures of Yonutz "explode" on various platforms.
"Eventually I was like, 'You know, I want to take my TikTok to Yonutz.' And I really wanted to make a flavor that would be on the menu, but I didn't know if I was crazy for thinking sour [gummies] on a Smashed Donut would be good," Bahu recalled. "So I put it on TikTok and everybody loved it, and now you can actually find it on the menu."
The TikTok star takes inspiration from pop culture trends like Netflix shows, zodiac signs and even the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II to create eye-catching, and hopefully delicious, desserts. Think: A glazed donut stuffed with chocolate ice cream, a chocolate drizzle, crumbled shortbread cookies, edible gold and more melted chocolate on top.
While Bahu claimed to have a "big-time" fan base among younger generations, he expressed he's glad to see kids bringing their parents to Yonutz, too.
"Everything I do is always going back into Yonutz… And it's so fun to meet everyone. They all come to have donuts because they always see it on my TikTok and they always come to see me," Bahu said. "And they bring their parents in, too, and then they're like, ‘What is this?’ And then, everyone's happy when they walk out with a smile. It's awesome."