Friday, July 23, 2010

TCBY planning three new local stores

Egads, Charlotte's frozen yogurt wave must be cresting - or at least heading that way - because lately it's seemed like hardly a day can pass without news of a new froyo shop hitting our region's radar screen. The latest: Charlotte resident Samuel Batt plans to open three new area TCBY locations in the next few months, at Blakeney in Charlotte, Birkdale Village in Huntersville and in Village Commons Phase II in Wesley Chapel (if you're familiar with the last shopping center, the store is planned for the freestanding building originally conceived as a coffee house).

The brand is a stalwart of the frozen yogurt scene, but it's taken steps toward reinventing itself in more of an updated, Pinkberryesque mode lately, with help from a test store that Batt opened earlier this year at Colony Place in south Charlotte. It was the first TCBY in the country with a revamped modern design and self-serve yogurt, priced by weight, that customers can top themselves at an extensive bar of choices. The store's performance has prompted TCBY to refresh its brand identity and incorporate the self-serve model for new and existing franchisees, the company says.

The three new Charlotte-area stores will be the first traditional TCBYs to include those traits. Six soft-serve machines will offer 12 rotating flavors of sweet and tart yogurt, as well as dairy-free sorbet. The Wesley Chapel store will also have a drive-thru and more of the company's traditional menu items, such as Shivers and cones.