September 30, 2014

THE HUB: The scoop on Yogurt City

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Yogurt City is set to open in Maple Tree Place later this month. (Observer photo by Rachel Gill)

Yogurt City is set to open in Maple Tree Place later this month. (Observer photo by Rachel Gill)

 

By Rachel Gill 

Observer correspondent

Fourteen flavors of self-serve frozen yogurt will begin tantalizing taste buds starting next week with the opening of Yogurt City, a franchise frozen yogurt company opening in Maple Tree Place. The corner location, previously occupied by Ben & Jerry’s, had been vacant for years.

After three months of construction, Wendy Lu, who is helping to open and run the new yogurt shop, said she hopes to open by Tuesday, May 21. Lu’s boyfriend, Shawn Zheng, is the shop’s primary owner. Both Zheng and Lu moved to the U.S. from China, Lu 10 years ago and Zheng, 15 years ago. They now both live in St. Albans.

Yogurt City started in 2011 and has since swelled to include approximately 20 shops sprinkled along the East Coast.

In Williston, shiny new self-serve yogurt machines line the neon green and vibrant orange walls also adorned with multi-colored tile. The space is accented with orange and white swirl lights that hang from the ceiling.

Next week, Lu said the yogurt machines will begin dispensing flavors such as New York cheesecake, very raspberry and cappuccino, among many others. All flavors hover around 100 calories and contain zero grams of fat per half-cup serving, according to Yogurt City’s website.

All flavors are also mixable, so customers can taste any flavor combination they can conjure up. After choosing a yogurt flavor, folks can move on to the toppings bar, which offers fresh fruit, cookie dough, nuts, chocolate chips and more.

“We are excited to open and we want people to come visit Yogurt City,” Lu said.

Lu and Zheng have seen the success of Yogurt City before.

“My brother opened a Yogurt City in Staten Island, New York, four years ago and it does very well,” Lu said.

At its Maple Tree Place neighboring shop, The Paper Peddler, the buzz about the new yogurt shop has already started.

“It’s exciting to see that a new business is going to the empty spot, especially a frozen yogurt place,” said Louise Nichols, a Paper Peddler employee. “I knew something was up over there when we all started hearing all the noise over there from the construction.”

Kathie Cooke, owner of The Paper Peddler, said she always welcomes new neighbors.

“We think it’s great, especially in the summer, this place will be hopping,” said Cooke. “It may not bring more people into our shop, but it will certainly generate interest in this area and may make people want to know what else is here.”

Karen Sidney-Plummer, general manager of Maple Tree Place, said Yogurt City will make a great addition.

“We are very excited about it especially with the start of our summer concert series that begins June 20,” Sidney-Plummer said. “Yogurt City should do phenomenal business and they chose to open at a perfect time of year so they definitely have that in their corner.”

Yogurt City is located at 121 Connor Way, Suite 110 in Maple Tree Place. 

 
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