There wasn't an empty seat in the house at the new Froyo World frozen yogurt lounge in Cheshire one afternoon this week. Customers lined up to fill their self-serve cups with favorite flavors. Think pink lemonade, peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie batter.
Franchise owner William Bok of Branford said his goal is to be the leading frozen yogurt franchise in New England and Puerto Rico within a year. He's on track to do it. There are now nine Froyo World stores in Connecticut and the franchise just opened its first store in New Hampshire, Bok said. "We'll have 50-plus stores by next year," he added. The Cheshire store is located at 191 Highland Ave. near Stop & Shop.
Each store hires up to 20 employees, a fact mentioned by U.S Rep. Rosa DeLauro at the Middletown store's grand opening in September. She noted the company supports women-owned franchises and offers new jobs.
Cheshire High School graduate Amin Taheri was hired for a part-time job at the local store. His first day was Wednesday, which was also his birthday. "It's fun, I love it. The town will be happy. It's been a long time coming," he said.
It did take the store longer to open than anticipated, Bok said. "There are obstacles to opening any business. It's hard to get up and runnning in the typical 60-90 days," he said. The delays were caused, in part, by architectural changes, Bok said. Permitting and town approval also took longer than anticipated. The store opened Monday after the company announced in April that it planned to open during the summer.
Dodd Middle School student Rebecca Allen, 13, said she had never eaten frozen yogurt. "I wanted to try it, everyone says it's good." She and two friends, Emiliy Ackerman, 12 and Kaylie Behuniak, 13, had walked from the middle school on Wednesday. The friends had been to the store twice in three days. "We can go to the library and then come here," Allen said.
"It's a healthy alternative to ice cream," Bok said. Fresh fruit is offered as a topping, he added. "Now, peoples' diets are healthy, gluten-free. Consumers balance their diet and eat frozen yogurt for lunch, even for dinner," Bok said.
Kate Walsh of Cheshire, who brought a table full of teenagers to the store, said the north end of town needed a place like FroYo. "I loved it. I've been waiting all summer. It will do really well," she said.
Here are other comments about the Cheshire store from FroYo's Facebook page.
- Sarah Colburn I will be going
- Sandy Diehl Chase yay finally
- Amir Morsy why no t-shirts????
- FroyoWorld We will see everybody there! The t-shirts will be for the Grand Opening day which will be announced shortly. This is only our Soft Opening which means we are ready for business!
- Jennifer Sparago Kubicza I WENT!!!! Was really hoping for some red velvet cake, but I settled for the Cake batter one instead. Thanks!
- FroyoWorld Thank you everybody for coming to show support. Hope you all had a great experience. It is our soft opening and we still have some imperfections to work on. Trial and Error. We will be posting our Grand Opening date soon (: