Sweet Frog premium frozen yogurt shop will have more than 100 locations by this summer after opening in the Downtown Short Pump Town Center just two and a half years ago, said Adam Silverman, regional manager of corporate Sweet Frog locations in the Richmond area.
The Carytown location, a popular venture for many University of Richmond students, is the busiest location, Silverman said. Proximity to University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University aids in the regular flow of Sweet Frog customers, he said.
"We're lucky to be in a really good spot," Silverman said. Carytown visitors often flock to the various area restaurants and stop by Sweet Frog for a sweet ending. The brightly colored walls, self-serve layout and upbeat atmosphere draw in customers at all hours.
"I have one woman who comes in every morning," Silverman said. "She's here Monday through Saturday religiously. She gets the same thing every time." In the summer, Sweet Frog opens at 11:30 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and in the slower winter months, the shop opens at 12:30 p.m.
"I told her just to come whenever she wanted, we'll just let her in, because she literally comes everyday," Silverman said.
Junior Mallory Krause is also a frequent visitor of Sweet Frog. She always gets whatever sorbet they offer with peanuts, she said.
When asked about his frequent customers, Silverman had Krause's order memorized. "I even move the peanuts to the front because all she gets is peanuts," he said.
To clear up a common misconception, Sweet Frog is open on Sundays, but it does open later than usual. Although "FROG" is an acronym for "Fully Rely On God," the store is not necessarily affiliated with religion, Silverman said. The founder, Derek Cha, is very strong in his faith, Silverman said. Cha wanted everything you do to "rely on God," he said, but employees do not have to be religious.
"It's just who we are," he said, "and it's not in your face, which I think people appreciate." Sweet Frog stores open at 1 p.m. on Sundays. It is too busy of a day to close, Silverman said, but the later start gives employees the option to go to church before they come to work if they want.
The Carytown unit typically opens before 1 p.m. because the manager allows the employees to open earlier if they're ready.
University of Richmond students will soon have another location to fulfill their frozen yogurt cravings with a new Sweet Frog on Libbie Avenue near Grove Avenue. The official opening date is currently unknown because of problems with the city of Richmond.
Silverman leaned back and sighed as he mentioned the number of times people have asked him when the new store will be opening. "We were ready to open the day after Thanksgiving," Silverman said. "It's been seven weeks. It's been a very frustrating period."
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The new location does not pose a threat to steal customers from the Carytown location because the idea is to grow the brand as a whole, he said. There are only eight to 10 corporate stores; most units are franchises, Silverman said.
Krause said she thought the new location would pull in a lot of Richmond students because it is a lot closer to campus. The opening date is in the hands of city officials now, Silverman said. Only time will tell where University of Richmond students will go to fulfill their Sweet Frog cravings.
Contact staff writer Kylie McKenna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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