DERRY — One of a number of frozen yogurt stores that have sprouted up in the area, an Orange Leaf yogurt shop opened recently in the Shaw’s Plaza.
The business started in May and celebrated its grand opening on July 12, said owner-manager Frank Carney. It is located in a corner of the plaza at 55 Crystal Ave., Suite 23.
Part of the Orange Leaf chain, the business is run from inside an expansive, 2,600-square-foot facility, about twice as large as the typical yogurt shop, Carney said.
He and his business partner, Kim DiPrizio, are hoping to use the extra space to attract businesses and other groups.
“We want to utilize that space for events and birthday parties,” Carney said.
Each shop offers self-serve frozen yogurt that is made fresh daily. Customers can choose their toppings and decide how much they want to indulge, Carney said.
“The thing that I like about the concept is people can set their own destiny,” Carney said. “You can have as little or as much as you want.”
Unlike some other “Fro-Yo” operations, Orange Leaf charges customers by the ounce for the yogurt they select.
“If you go to a competitor, they’ll say, ‘small, medium or large,”’ Carney said. “They set what you are going to get.”
Customers pay 55 cents per ounce for yogurt, he said.
Business has been going well and the shop seems to be a hit, especially with younger people, Carney said.
“What I find is people just come, and they’ll have yogurt, but they’ll hang out and just converse,” Carney said. “It’s a hip, cool place to just hang out.”
The shop has several TVs mounted on wall and offers free Wi-Fi; outside seating is also available.
With schools such as Pinkerton Academy and Gilbert H. Middle School nearby, the shop attracted a number of students when school was in session. But there has been somewhat of a decline since classes ended last month for the summer.
“With summer everyone is on vacation,” he said. “The business is a little more sporadic but still doing quite well.”
Carney said he is anticipating business will come back even stronger in late August and early September with the opening of school.
The shop’s recent opening caught the attention of Derry Councilor Joshua Bourdon, who visited the store.
Councilors are seeking to spark economic development and discussed ways to improve the local economy at a meeting earlier this month.
Bourdon said that he liked Orange Leaf and recommended it to his fellow councilors and the community.
“It’s really good, kid friendly,” Bourdon said.
For information, call 421-2880 or visit orangeleaf.com.