Orange Leaf frozen yogurt open in Barboursville
BARBOURSVILLE -- Self- serve frozen yogurt is a fast-growing trend as chains like Pinkberry and Red Mango have been popping up in cities across the nation.
One chain that has seen explosive growth across the country is Orange Leaf, which has expanded to more than 140 locations nationwide. The chain's first West Virginia location opened Monday at River Place Plaza.
Meredith Lynne, director of public relations for Orange Leaf, attributes the chain's success to the franchises having an easily replicated format and a quality product.
"Our product is richer and creamier than a lot of the yogurt out there," Lynne said. "The flavors are true to their name. Cotton candy tastes like you are at the fairground. Snickerdoodle tastes like it's fresh from the oven. They are flavors that people know and love. Most of our flavors have a sweet base rather than a tart base. We have two machines in our office where we test new flavors. We get new flavor ideas from our customers and franchisees every day. We test them out and if they're successful, we introduce them to our stores.
"While we are a national franchise we are very community focused." she added. "All of our franchisees are dedicated to supporting local causes. We are proud of them being active members in our communities."
The Barboursville location features eight soft serve machines, each serving two flavors. Cups are weighed by the ounce and customers can top their yogurt with an assortment of sprinkles, candies and fruit. The store also offers fresh made waffle bowls. Among the more exotic toppings are Ghiradelli brand chocolate syrup, "Popping Boba" brand Japanese candies and fresh mango. The store offers a wide variety of lowfat and nonfat yogurts in flavors ranging from chocolate to coconut to snickerdoodle. The store also offers a sugar free and dairy free flavor each day. All flavors are 44 cents per ounce. There are two cup sizes -- 24 ounce and 16 ounce.
"We decided to open a store after visiting a location in Columbus," said owner R.J. Harris. "We did some research online and contacted the main office in Oklahoma City. We found out that there we no franchises in West Virginia yet and if we wanted to we could open the first. We then flew out and met the owners in Oklahoma City. This space we moved into was initially rented by a pharmacist. We acquired the space after he decided not to put a pharmacy in this location. We ended up splitting the space with the new Pizza Hut. Once everything was processed, it took us about one month to have everything renovated before we were ready to open. We were held up about a week while we had to wait for the machines."
The store's machines are part of the chain's success, according to Harris.
"There's a patent on the machines and delivery process that Orange Leaf uses that adds some more oxygen to the mix," Harris said. "It softens up the yogurt and gives it a bit more of a sweeter taste."
Orange Leaf is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cash and most major credit cards are accepted. Orange Leaf is located at 6007 U.S. 60 East, Suite 228 next to Pizza Hut. For more information, call 304-736-4088.