People are looking to eat healthy, and they want to do it themselves.
That seems to sum up what TCBY on Washington Avenue provides. The popular frozen yogurt chain has undergone a renovation in recent months and has made the move to self-serve, where the customer decides which flavor, which toppings, and how much.
Patch sat down with owner Robert Brienza to see how business is going, and what he expects in the coming years.
Q. How did you get started with TCBY?
A. I got started with the franchise in 1990. From there, I bought and sold different TCBY's, and eventually settled here [three years ago].
Q. Along with the move to self-serve, how has the retail, frozen yogurt store business been doing overall?
A. In the early 90's, there was a surge then it slowed down because the market was oversaturated, but now self-serve places are popping up everywhere.
Q. Any new trends in your business on the horizon?
A. I think self-serve will remain for the next few years at least, and we don't know where it's going to take us after that. For now, people like [helping themselves].
Q. Compared to your other locations over the years and other current TCBY locales, how has business been going?
A. Since we went self-serve, business has increased dramatically.
Q. Why come to Plainview? What is it about this location that you believe will serve you and your business well?
A. My brother actually owned it in the 90's, and it's been sold a couple of times since. I've always liked this location, and we had the opportunity to buy it, and we did three years ago. More people in this town care about their health and they look for frozen yogurt rather than ice cream. In other towns, some people don't even know what frozen yogurt is. [For example], if I said 'what is a carob chip', they'd say what's [that]?
In this town people are concerned with their health, like [neighboring store] Dr. B Well, plenty of people go in there because it's a healthy store, and that's where we're getting [business] from, people take care of themselves and eat right.
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