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Menchie’s frozen yogurt to open

A local businessman is opening a franchise location of California-based Menchie’s frozen yogurt in Turkey Creek in coming months.

“As far as a grand-opening date, it will probably be the first week of May,” Bruce Smythe, franchisee, said.

Menchie’s will be located at 11162 Parkside Drive, in the same building as McAlister’s Deli.

Smythe ran across the California-based Menchie’s concept while visiting his daughter in Los Angeles, where the shop is his daughter’s favorite dessert destination.

“When I saw how much fun it was and saw all the families and kids and teenagers and everybody having a great time, I was just blown away by it,” Smythe said.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he added.

Smythe decided to bring the concept back to Knoxville and make it a family business. Smythe, his wife, Patti, and son, Michael, all will work in the shop.

“Turkey Creek is obviously a magnet for a lot of entertainment, people looking to have fun and enjoyment.

“This is really a fun place and we thought it would be a good location for [Menchie’s] initially,” he said.

“I expect to have a real good response,” he added.

Menchie’s brings a different concept to the ice cream and frozen yogurt market: customers can choose what flavors and toppings they like, and simply pay by the ounce.

“The whole theme of it is that it gives complete control to the customer to have fun and enjoy yourself how you want to,” Smythe said.

“The theme is really real: What’s your mix?” he added.

“It’s completely self-serve. You take as much as you like, as many different flavors of yogurt, as many different toppings, as much or as little of every different crazy combination,” Shir Balas, marketing associate for Menchie’s, said.

“And you don’t get charged per topping or per flavor … it’s paid by ounce.

“You just do it how you like it, and they weigh it, ” she added.

The frozen yogurt shop has more than 100 flavors, which revolve every day. The Turkey Creek store likely will have 12 flavors a day, with more than 40 toppings.

“We have over 40 toppings: it ranges from fresh-cut fruit, we have berries, seasonal fruit, strawberries, pineapple; to chocolate chip cookie dough, cheesecake bites, chocolate sprinkles, Oreos,” Balas said.

The fresh-cut fruit was a perennially favorite topping, because “it’s healthy; it’s like a healthy alternative to a snack,” Balas said.

Each of the frozen yogurt flavors is either low- or non-fat, and some also are available in dairy-free and no-sugar-added flavors.

“They range about 20 to 30 calories per ounce,” Balas said of the yogurts.

In addition, the frozen yogurt shop is larger than most ice cream shops, encouraging lingering.

“We purposely have about twice the size of what you typically find … because we want people to stay there and have fun,” Smythe said.

“It’s a real hangout, not just a spot you’ve got to go in and get your thing and kind of move out,” he added.

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