Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Frozen yogurt shop coming in spring

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 12/18/2013

Ottawans looking for a new way to satisfy their sweet tooths won’t have to travel far.

Peachwave Frozen Yogurt is set to open its doors in early to mid-March, Mike Blaue said.

Ottawans looking for a new way to satisfy their sweet tooths won’t have to travel far.

Peachwave Frozen Yogurt is set to open its doors in early to mid-March, Mike Blaue said.

“There’s nothing else like it in town,” Blaue, owner and operator of the yogurt shop, said. “That’s the thing we looked at — provide something alternative to what we had in town and everybody could do their own thing. Most places you have to order off the menu.”

Blaue, whose American Family Insurance business sits next to the future home of Peachwave, 1410 S. Main St., Ottawa, said frozen yogurt is different from ice cream in that it has probiotics and can be as healthy, or as decadent, as a person chooses to make it.

“Frozen yogurt’s not ice cream,” he said. “It’s healthy, low-fat and you can get gluten-free. There’s like 75 different choices.”

Finding the space for the frozen yogurt shop wasn’t an issue, Blaue said; it was figuring out what he wanted to put in the space.

“I originally opened Blue Sky Liquors,” he said. “My buddy and I decided to open the liquor store and we’d been open six months and he left and took a job in Hays and I sold [Blue Sky Liquors] to Kirby Snider five years ago.”

Blaue still owned the building Blue Sky Liquors was in at 1410 S. Main St., Ottawa, he said, so when Snyder decided to build his own store — Blu Sky Liquor Store — at 846 S. Main St., Ottawa, Blaue knew he wanted to fill the empty building.

“We looked at all sorts of different things to put there,” he said. “Ottawa has plenty of pizza shops and a Subway. Dr. Gollier is a friend of mine and he kept telling me to put in a frozen yogurt place, and we were in Kansas City one time and stopped at an Orange Leaf and went ‘Wow.’”

After doing some research and talking to a friend who had recently opened a Peachwave, Blaue said, the frozen yogurt shop seemed like a great fit.

“A friend of mine opened one in Liberal, Kan.,” he said. “You’re a licensee, not a franchisee, so you don’t have to pay any royalties or advertising. I’ve had some friends that have done this with [Peachwave] for a month or year and have been pleased.”

Though he’ll have the help of his two sons and wife, Blaue said he’ll still be enlisting the help of other high school and college-age kids to work at the shop.

“The other reason I like the idea of it, is that it’s self-serve so it’s not a high intensity work environment,” he said. “We’ll hire about 15 to 20 employees and most will be high school and college kids.”

One problem Blaue was facing with the location of the self-serve shop was the amount of parking, he said, so he requested 10 overflow parking spots at the Franklin County Office Annex, 1428 S. Main St., Ottawa, in the event the parking lot can’t fit everyone.

The Franklin County Board of Commission voted Wednesday to approve the overflow parking since the timing of the annex’s and yogurt shop’s users and customers likely wouldn’t overlap, board members said.

“We just wanted to try something new and different and hopefully Ottawa will embrace it,” he said. “I think it’s a good concept, and we’ll wait and see if it works out.”

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