Blacksburg got a little sweeter Aug. 30 with the opening of a new sweetFrog location in University Mall.
SweetFrog is a frozen yogurt shop allowing you to hand-create your own concoction of soft-serve frozen yogurt flavors and toppings. Flavors range from strawberry and white tea peach to snickerdoodle and red velvet. Additionally, a large variety of toppings allows for many different possibilities.
“Compared to the other frozen yogurt places I’ve been, their toppings are better,” said Allyson Fiery, a freshman human nutrition, foods and exercise major.
“We’re really thrilled to be here,” said Ingrid Lupica, the owner of 12 sweetFrog locations, including the stores in Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Charlottesville. “We welcome Tech and all of our customers.”
Lupica believes the shop will thrive in its location despite the recent closing of Yogi Factory, another frozen yogurt shop, which previously resided in University Mall.
“A lot of the student body is there, and it’s a good location for the customer base that we are going after,” she said.
However, sweetFrog may have to compete with the downtown location of the Frosty Parrot, a frozen yogurt shop with a similar setup.
“I haven’t gone to sweetFrog yet, but I go to the Frosty Parrot a lot,” said Andrea Long, a senior communication major. “It’s easier because it’s downtown and I can walk to it. Also, downtown you’re more likely to see people you know, and that’s great if you’re really social.”
Long admitted she will often forego quality for convenience.
“Even if one place is better — or has more options — than the other, I will go to whichever one is more convenient for me to get to,” she said.
Alternatively, sweetFrog’s location could be convenient for students who live off campus or frequent the Math Emporium in University Mall.
“It’s my motivation for coming to the Math Empo,” said Maureen Haynal, a freshman HNFE major.
Lupica said the progress sweetFrog has had with branding itself will be a big contributing factor to its success where Easy Chair Coffee Shop was previously located.
“SweetFrog has become such a great brand,” Lupica said. “It’s like comparing Starbucks to Easy Chair. Starbucks does coffee, and what they do, they do really well. They’ve become the pioneers of coffee. And I think, in business, whatever you choose to do you have to do it really well.”
The “Frog” in the store’s name is an acronym for “fully rely on god,” an indication of the religious principles on which the company was founded. According to its website, sweetFrog believes in bringing happiness and a positive attitude into the lives of its customers.
The Blacksburg location is open weekdays from 11:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Weekend hours are still being determined, but the store will stay open later — until either 11 or 11:30 p.m. — according to Lupica.