Sweet Frog locations are jumping up throughout the region, as the hot trend of frozen yogurt weaves its way around York County.
Just as self-serve frozen yogurt chains Pinkberry and Red Mango rose to fame in New York and California, there's rarely an open seat on weekends at the Richmond, Va.-based Sweet Frog in Queensgate Towne Center, York Township.
The door didn't close at all during the frozen yogurt shop's seven-hour shift on Sunday, as a steady line trailed out of the store at 2071 Springwood Road, said Eric Watts, manager on duty at Sweet Frog in Queensgate.
Popularity has soared since March when Steve and Cherrie Pettit opened the franchise in York Township. Nearby York Suburban students frequent the shop during their school's lunch break. And other area students have shown up in limousines before formal dances, digging into small colorful dishes while wearing evening gowns and tuxedos, Watts said.
The perpetual lines that wind out the door every day after 4 p.m. and the success of the Queensgate franchise have inspired the Pettits to open more stores in the area - one in Shrewsbury and another in Lancaster, which they plan to open during the next six months, Watts said.
Next Monday, another Sweet Frog is expected to open in Hanover at 151 Wilson Ave.
"There's nothing like this around here," said Harry Martin, owner of the Hanover store.
Customers can chose among 14 flavors at do-it-yourself machines, then top their favorite flavors with a buffet of options including fresh fruits, gummy fruits, chopped candies and other toppings.
Prices are based on weight. The Hanover store will charge 41.05 cents per ounce, and the York Township store charges 39 cents per ounce.
"People really like that they can control what they're getting and what they're spending," Martin said.
With the store decorated in pink and green, the atmosphere is also appealing to customers, Martin said.
The Christian theme also helps, Watts said.
The "Frog" in Sweet Frog stands for Fully Rely on God, which is a message repeated on employee uniforms.
"People know when they come in here they will get friendly customer service. Workers are always smiling and upbeat. It's a happy place to come to," Watts said.
But it was the flavor that sent Cary Meehan to have lunch in her car. "I am totally eating my feelings right now," she joked.
The young York professional said the cake batter frozen yogurt, topped with berries and crushed Snickers, was what she needed to survive some mid-day stress.
"It's yogurt, though, so it's healthy, right?" she said.
Martin and Watts agreed frozen yogurt can be healthier than typical ice cream, depending how you top it. Both locations offer sugar-free and nonfat flavors.
Cake batter, cookies and cream, and country vanilla are top sellers at Sweet Frog in York Township, Watts said, and Martin is eager to learn what Hanover customers buy the most next week.
His staff of 19 employees is ready to go, he said, and the Hanover store will be open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday.
The Sweet Frog in Queensgate is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday.
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