Temps might be falling, but frozen yogurt options heat up this week, with the much-anticipated opening of Peachwave, at 142 Old Ridgefield Rd., across from Wilton Library.
According to Ryan Ventura, manager of the store, they’re officially opening on Thursday, but will have a special offer for people who stop by on Wednesday: “That’s when we’re doing a soft opening when we train the team, and we’re giving away a ton of free samples,” he said. He also made sure to point out that anyone who stops by on Thursday in costume for Halloween will be rewarded with a free yogurt.
He couldn’t be more excited about being in the fro-yo business, showing off the store’s eight machines that serve two flavors apiece and touting that, when they match up side-by-side smartly—strawberry and cheesecake, for example—combining them really makes a total of 24 potential frozen yogurt options. “Along with a ton of fresh fruit and candy and topping options.”
Ventura says they’re trying to emphasize the store as a family destination. “Our tagline is ‘Create a family tradition.’ There’s too much other stuff, from electronics, to business to school in your life. This is an inexpensive way for the family to come together and spend some time over dessert. And we’ve got a variety for all of them.”
Shakes and waffle iron are future additions, as are coffee, hot chocolate and tea. “Some would say we’re crazy for opening in winter but families coming together is stronger than the time of year. We want this to be like Cheers, winter or summer. I know it’s got a franchise name, but I don’t want it to have a franchise feel. We’re hiring Wilton High School Kids, people will know each other. We want it to be very locally based.”
He noted that the Wilton store will open one hour earlier than the other Peachwaves—at 11 a.m.—“because that’s what time Storytime at the Wilton Library across the street ends.”
Along those lines he’s hoping the spot becomes an alternative place where kids and teens can hangout. “The TV is going to go there, we’ll have WiFi, and we’re going to turn this section of wall into chalkboard that little kids can draw on with chalk, karaoke, open mic nights, couches—those will be soon.”
If he’s on the hunt for a new couch, he’ll have to find the just right thing to fit the very cool, Apple store-like mod décor—bright yellow paint, round glass tiles, and a reclaimed wood wall and modern white tables and chairs are the motif.
But Ventura said it’s not a cookie-cutter look modeled after any national brand. In fact, he clarified that the store isn’t a franchise of the larger Peachwave brand—it’s a licensee. “Each owner can make it like they want, and express a little creativity. The owner of the Wilton location owns three others—Westport, Norwalk and Mt. Kisco.”
During the interview, the topic of giving back to the community came up. With Wilton the kind of town that fosters many, many local organizations and efforts. Looking to sponsor sports teams, “We’d like to be a place to do fundraising for your causes. Come in on this day, 20-percent goes to you. I’m really interested in finding out those ways we can be part of the community.”
He hopes to explore relationships with other retailers, combining efforts to host kids’ birthday parties and the like. “Anything we can do to invest in and be a part of the community.”
One other store owner in the community wasn’t thrilled, however, to hear about the Peachwave opening—the other frozen yogurt business in Wilton Center, Swizzles. Owner Adam Kessner talked to GOOD Morning Wilton last week, and said the competition wasn’t a good thing. Ventura took the high road with a reply.
“We wish him the best. We can each bring something, and there’s no ill will. We’re not a franchise trying to take over the East Coast. We want to invest in the local area – our owner is from Redding and he has family that lives in Wilton. It’s not an absentee landlord—they want to see this place succeed. There’s more than one pizza place in town, and they survive. There’s more than one coffee shop in town. We’re just another choice, and that’s all we want to be.”
Peachwave will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, 10 p.m. on weekends.