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Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt Opens in Penrose

by Katie Pyzyk — January 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm 5,822 50 Comments

Columbia Pike is getting in on the frozen yogurt craze, with the opening of a Menchie’s (2405 Columbia Pike) in Penrose Square.

The shop opened on Friday (December 28) and features a wall of 16 self-serve frozen yogurt machines and dozens of toppings. Menchie’s tries to cater to people with food allergies, so there are dairy free and gluten free options, as well as extensive ingredient labels for each flavor. Menchie’s has its own organic dairy in California which supplies the products and provides some flavors not available anywhere else.

Franchise owner Robert Guinn said business has been steady since the opening and customers have been receptive to the frozen yogurt shop.

“We were looking for someplace we could fit in and growth with,” Guinn said. “The community is really strong and we’ve been really happy with the retail traffic coming by.”

The chain is recognized around the world partly due to its team of “Sweet Friends” such as Menchie, Mookie, Barry and Sprinkle. Guinn said kids can identify with the Sweet Friends according to their different personalities considering each character has different traits. Employees at the Columbia Pike location having been taking turns dressing up as Menchie to draw customers into the store.

“All of our team members thought they’d never want to be in a Menchie costume, and honestly all of them have been out there and loved it,” Guinn said.

This is the first Menchie’s location in Arlington. The shop plans to hold a grand opening starting next Saturday (January 12) which will run for a week. There will be a variety of events announced, including frozen yogurt and t-shirt giveaways.

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  • JamesE

    Finally someplace in Arlington where I can get froyo.

  • Rory

    This frozen yogurt bubble has to pop soon. I hope it doesn’t involve any government bailouts

    • Deadite

      The Great Yogurt Crash of 2013.

      • WeiQiang

        The Great Yogurt Meltdown of 2013

        • Deadite

          All thanks to the Yogurt Explosion of 2012. ;)

  • DarkHeart

    Opening a frozen food store in the middle of winter is thinking outside the icebox.

    • Deadite

      Should they have waited until summer and still paid rent in the meantime?

    • NPGMBR

      I was wondering the same thing. I’m sure they would get more customers during the spring and summer vice the VERY BEGINNING of winter. However, I hope they can get enough business to survive till Spring because it helps to build on the availability of dining choices for Pike residents. All I need now is Chipotle, Taylor Gourmet and Chop’t.

      • Deadite

        Taylor Gourmet is the greatest.

    • PikeMan

      I’d be very surprised if they didn’t anticipate slower business for the first few months until the weather got warmer when coming up with their business plan.

  • nom de guerre

    Do they plan to offer specially made and flavored froyo for dogs?

    • http://www.facebook.com/MenchiesPenroseSquare Rob @ Menchies

      I try to give a sample cup of our Original Tart yogurt to any dogs that are stuck outside while their owners are getting froyo. It’s low in sugar and the dogs love the texture and tartness.

      Rob

      • Tabs

        Doesn’t it give them diarrhea, Rob@menchies?

  • Ren

    Is this business segment uniquely profitable to breed the supply? Genuinely curious about what grows the chains – isn’t it basically softserve, tricked out with toppings and ‘exotic’ flavors?

    • John K

      Yes. That is why they will succeed where TCBY and I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt failed after the late 80′s frozen yogurt boom. It will all be different.

  • MissKittenCat

    Froyo was so 2012.

  • PikeMan

    went earlier this week when we found out it was open and loved it. the flavor selection was great and the variety of toppings was also a definite plus.

    definitely a welcome addition to the Pike!

  • internet tourettes

    The whole Froyo phenom is based on the high rents and the revenue per sq ft that you need to support them. Like starbucks, where the most espensive drink has a total cost of 17 cents and costs $4.50, Froyo costs pennies to make and has low labor costs (the machines are self serve) which is the only way to make enough revenue to cover rent…

  • http://twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

    i realize there are commenters here who really have nothing better to do that post things like “another froyo shop?!” on every other news post, but as a resident of this neighborhood over the course of the new construction, new giant, and lots of new restaurants in addition to the great existing places like the cinema draft house and b&e, this is a welcome addition. this area of arlington is finally becoming a true walkable neighborhood with nearly everything you could need within a few blocks, plus public transit and easy highway access to the district. for those of you complaining about too many froyo shops, arlington is a big county. you don’t have to drive to my neighborhood to get froyo if you don’t want to. but more importantly, i don’t have to leave my neighborhood to get some! i love that i can walk across the street, eat dinner, pick up groceries, and grab dessert. i have lived in downtown city areas, i have lived in suburbs, and i realize that my favorite is the best of both. that’s why i bought a home here. and menchie’s is great – i’ve been twice so far, everyone has been very friendly and the yogurt is delicious. welcome to the neighborhood! as for the haters, i can’t wait to hear what you’ll be complaining about next. or maybe i can.

    • CourthouseChris

      *actually, it’s the smallest county.

      • drax

        No, it’s a large county, because everyone knows that means population.

        • CourthouseChris

          Are you pissed that I beat you to a really great drax-style nitpick?

    • arlingtony

      +100000

    • Sam

      Is your shift key broken?

      • e e cummings

        nothing wrong with her shift key.

        • Rory

          ha!

        • archy

          yeah, nothing wrong with her shift key.

    • NPGMBR

      I agree. I welcome all these nice new restaurants that make our neighborhood that much nicer.

    • Arlie

      I agree! While I work close to both Pinkberry and Red Mango, Menchie’s is a short walk from my home. This is so much better since I usually want my yogurt after dinner or on a weekend afternoon. I also prefer the self-serve, sold-by-weight model. I tried Menchies last Friday and it was great! I love that you can sample any and as many flavors as you want. Everyone working there was exceptionally friendly, which makes the experience that much better. I hope they do very well on the Pike.

  • nom de guerre

    I used to like frozen yogurt until I learned how it is made. I know someone who owns a froyo shop in Arlington and I watched him pour 5 pound bags of powder into a large food grade bucket that had milk in it and mixed it with a large immersion hand held blender prior to putting in the machines.

    • Deadite

      Nope, not grossed out.

    • FrenchyB

      I used to like bread until I learned how it was made. I saw someone throw a bunch of powder into a big bowl of water, mix it up, then throw it in the oven. Oh, the horror!

      • drax

        I saw pancakes being made. They mixed ground up seeds of a type of tall grass with the reproductive materials of birds and the substance that cows produce from special glands to feed their young. Gross!

        • FrenchyB

          Ew, I just threw up in my mouth a bit.

    • Rory

      Wait til you find out how burgers are made

    • CourthouseChris

      This seems like an especially low bar for being grossed out.

      • Josh S

        Seriously. Isn’t this how just about every processed food is made? Did you never have your Wonderbread factory tour as a kid?

        • drax

          nom de guerre only eats the finest, freshest food from Sam’s Corner.

    • Captain Obvious

      Actually, the owner indicated that he only has one flavor at Menchies that comes from a powder–the sugar free flavor.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MenchiesPenroseSquare Rob @ Menchies

      nom de guerre

      as Captain Obvious said the only mix in we use is our low carb, no sugar added flavor which is currently banana cheesecake. The rest of our flavors are actual yogurt that we bring in frozen from our California dairy. Feel free to stop in and I’ll take you on a tour of our back of house.

      • Tabs again

        Rob@m, like nom, I once saw the buckets of stuff that a popular froyo place use, and I wasn’t impressed from a health perspective. Do you have an ingredients list online? This other place does not.

  • Hadur

    Perhaps when the streetcar is built, I will come from Crystal City to have some froyo.

  • TCBY

    2013 Arlington Froyo Crawl!

    • 7-11-bum

      Yes!

  • arlvapete

    Dairy free options! Now that’s a plus for me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MenchiesPenroseSquare Rob @ Menchies

      arlvapete

      We currently have Mango, Pomegranate Raspberry and, Honeydew as our dairy free options. Let me know if you have a specific request and I’ll see if I can get it in the upcoming flavor lineup. If you haven’t been into the store yet try the Pomegranate Raspberry, it’s fantastic.

      Rob

  • http://www.facebook.com/MenchiesPenroseSquare Rob @ Menchies

    We’re happy to be in the neighborhood:) If you haven’t stopped by to check it out, mention the ARLnow article today (1/3/13) and get $1.00 off your yogurt.

    • JK

      Rob, re: food allergies, are there peanuts in the store? My kids have peanut allergies, so that would limit the self-serve toppings for our family. Knowing all the ingredients is very helpful.

      • http://www.facebook.com/MenchiesPenroseSquare Rob @ Menchies

        JK,
        We do have peanuts but keep all of the nut products separated from of the other toppings. We also have different colored serving spoons for all products that contain nuts so they are easy to distinguish from non-nut products.

  • electricbill

    Yeah there are a lot of Froyo places in Arlington. I haven’t tried them all, but I’ve been to a lot. Menchies is hands down the best! The yogurt was delicious, the store was spotless, and the staff were amazing! I was very impressed. I really hope they do well.

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