© Guardian Photo by Heather Taweel
Ryan Casey enjoys a frozen yogurt at Berry Healthy on Kent Street in Charlottetown.
The self-serve frozen yogurt boom has hit Charlottetown.
Goji’s Frozen Yogurt, a franchise that is expanding across Canada at this very moment, is getting ready to open up at the new mall complex on Spencer Drive (the new Sobey’s mall next to Boston Pizza).
That will mark the third self-serve frozen yogurt restaurant in the capital city in just a few short months. Berry Healthy on Kent Street and Island Frozen Yogurt on University Avenue and in Cavendish were the first to arrive.
The boom began in the United States, spreading like wildfire over the past seven years and is now bursting north of the border.
Goji’s is the brainchild of Moncton sisters Janette Zacharias and Carol Wirsz. During a visit to Florida in 2011, the family discovered a self-serve frozen yogurt shop and discussed how a similar business might be popular locally.
“It is exploding,’’ Wirsz told The Guardian. “On the east coast, we’re just getting it now. Its popularity stems from a number of factors.
“The whole self-serve concept really resonates with people. They have all the choices. They can make it as healthy as they want to. The health aspect is considered to be a lower calorie, more nutritious food than ice cream or other frozen snacks.’’
Jeff Zacharias, another family member involved in the business (there are six of them altogether), said a franchisee in Charlottetown approached them about opening up shop in the P.E.I. capital.
He said they’re looking at opening the Charlottetown Goji’s in early November and will most likely employ 18 to 25 part-time workers.
Wirsz said training will involve teaching the prospective young employees life skills and offer them chances at scholarships. She said the business will also be involved in the community.
Michael Zakuta, president, CEO and director of Plazacorp Retail Properties Ltd. which owns properties in Charlottetown (including the one Goji’s is moving into), said there is no question frozen yogurt is a hot trend but acknowledges the market may become saturated.
“There will probably be too much of it and it will get readjusted but it’s interesting,’’ Zakuta said. “It fits in Charlottetown, given the seasonal nature of business in Charlottetown. It’s going to do very well in the summer.’’