Harbour View adds sweet new shop

Published 10:16 pm Friday, January 20, 2012

Vice Mayor Charles Brown helps Sweet Frog frozen yogurt owners Tracey Dewitt-Rickards, right, and Robin Winer, left, open their newest location in Harbour View while Kevin Hughes and Deanna Holt, both with Suffolk Department of Economic Development, hold the ribbon.

Harbour View got a tasty addition this week when Sweet Frog frozen yogurt opened its doors for the first time.

The yogurt shop held its grand opening Friday in the shopping center that contains the Regal Harbour View Grande 16 movie theater, Buffalo Wild Wings and several other businesses.

“I wish you all the success,” Vice Mayor Charles Brown said at the event. “We’re 100 percent behind you.”

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Sweet Frog is a self-service frozen yogurt bar with 14 flavors to choose from, including classics like chocolate and more unconventional flavors such as cake batter.

The shop also features a toppings bar that offers more than 50 different treats to top off your yogurt, including fresh fruit, sprinkles, hot fudge and gummy bears.

Tracey Dewitt-Rickards, who owns the shop with her husband Tom Dewitt-Rickards and married couple Robin Winer and Chan Maragh, said what sets Sweet Frog apart from other yogurt places is a great-tasting product and wonderful atmosphere.

“We’re all about customer service and a quality product,” she said.

Additionally, Dewitt-Rickards said, the shop offers five yogurt flavors that are mixed on site, which include chocolate, tart, cappuccino, mango and strawberry, and fruit that is delivered and cut fresh every day.

“We never use frozen fruit,” she said.

This is the third Sweet Frog the owners have opened, with others in Newport News and Virginia Beach.

Dewitt-Rickards said they wanted another shop in the Tidewater area and had to decide between Chesapeake and Suffolk.

“We came to Suffolk and really liked it here,” she said. “We liked the shopping center, we liked having the movie theater right there, and we liked how conveniently located it is.”

Although it might seem like January isn’t the best time to sell frozen treats, Dewitt-Rickards said they haven’t seen a lull in business in other locations and hope it will be the same here.

“Cold doesn’t scare customers away at all,” she said.

Even if business is slow at first, Dewitt-Rickards said, she hopes people will learn about them now and remember them come warmer days.

“We figure this way people will get to know our name, and by spring, they’ll think of us first,” she said.