Expanding by The Yard

The Yard creates over-the-top frozen treats with a wild assortment of toppings — everything from pie to cereal.
The Yard creates over-the-top frozen treats with a wild assortment of toppings — everything from pie to cereal.
the Kornegays leveraged their 
popular social media presence to launch their entrepreneurial dreams.
the Kornegays leveraged their popular social media presence to launch their entrepreneurial dreams.

When Briana and Roger Kornegay met at church in 2012, they weren’t expecting that they’d eventually run one of the most popular Wake County-based social media accounts, which would lead them to opening a viral dessertery. But when Roger’s marketing job became a victim of pandemic layoffs, Briana convinced him that they could forge on by creating their own path.

They named their social media project Raleigh FoodTrap. “We wanted to highlight local businesses that were losing their business due to the pandemic,” Roger recalls about the account’s early days. Raleigh FoodTrap’s initial content was focused on giveaways, but the couple felt their visibility dramatically expanded once they took a broader approach.

Compilation videos like a two-part series of must-visit Raleigh restaurants and highlights of drive-worthy dining destinations put them on the map. “That’s when we really expanded beyond our core community,” mentions Briana.

The couple’s infectious videos about food and local businesses connected with viewers — resulting in over 125,000 followers on both TikTok and Instagram. However, after years of generating buzz for numerous other establishments, the couple felt pulled to start a business of their own. To bring their entrepreneurial dreams to life, the duo partnered with the premium dessertery The Yard Milkshake Bar.

The Yard originated in Gulf Shores, Alabama, when Logan and Chelsea Green decided to open a business that featured outrageous towering milkshakes with viral appeal. After the success of the original stores, the Greens turned to franchising The Yard concept, which eventually landed them a deal during an episode of the popular entrepreneur investment television series Shark Tank.

“The reason we wanted to bring The Yard back home is that we had experienced it in Atlanta and Virginia. We both noticed as marketers that the minute they received their treat, the first thing they did was take pictures of it. Their phone ate first,” Roger says. “It was a product that marketed itself.”

Cream of the Crop

Each shake begins with four scoops of Blue Bell ice cream, but the extravagant toppings add the viral photogenic appeal. They are served with “everything you can think of on top,” according to Roger, including pies, cakes, donuts, brownies, cookies, and other sweet accents. “Some of these treats stand about a foot tall.”

Exclusive to their shop, the Raleigh FoodTrap shake features red velvet and chocolate ice cream topped with a slice of red velvet cake from Durham bakery Favor Desserts. “Having that milkshake is like a moment with God,” jokes Roger.

The Yard even has certain ice cream flavors, such as white chocolate marshmallow, that are exclusive to their stores. Oat milk-based ice cream churned in-house is available for those looking for a vegan option. Roger stresses that the menu offers something for everyone, including lactose-free and gluten-free selections.

In all, Roger says, “It’s a fun experience. And you get to keep the jar.”

Beyond ice cream, The Yard also offers edible cookie dough.

Past, Present, Future

“The response has been like a wedding story, like a dream,” Roger says, reflecting on the transition from content creator to business owner. “People are coming from every inch of North Carolina, coming from out of the state.”

More than just a dream, opening The Yard has been a homecoming for Roger. “I grew up on those same streets,” he recalls. “I went to school at Broughton High School, so I’m really happy to be connected to that land.”

The success of their brick-and-mortar business isn’t the end of the story for the Kornegays. The social media darlings have grand plans to bring more viral eateries to Raleigh.

“My vision ultimately is to bring nine more over-the-top food experiences to the Raleigh area, all being powered by Raleigh FoodTrap,” Roger says. “Nine more food experiences that we all see on social media and send to our friends but don’t have here in the area.”


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