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May 13, 2014

Yogurt & Friends

Menchie’s brings aggressive national expansion plan to Terre Haute’s south side

TERRE HAUTE — Menchie’s, a new frozen yogurt business opening Saturday in Terre Haute, is nothing if not ambitious.

The company, which calls itself the “friendliest place on earth,” has opened 400 franchise locations since 2008 and wants to open 1,600 more in the next 20 years, according to the company’s website.

How?

“We want to sell smiles,” said Trey Miller, managing partner of the soon-to-be Terre Haute Menchie’s at Riverside Plaza, which will launch a week-long grand-opening celebration Saturday starting at 11 a.m.

The company’s mission statement is “We make you smile.”

Menchie’s sells frozen yogurts – about 14 at any given time – with dozens of toppings, including Gummi Bears, candy and nuts of all sorts, fresh fruit and sauces. Customers serve themselves using 8-ounce cups.

“You can get as little as you want or as much as you want,” Miller said. The yogurt sells for 48 cents per ounce.

For the grand opening, flavors standing by include the popular cake batter-flavored frozen yogurt called “Take the Cake,” also “The Berry Bunch,” Red Velvet Royale, Ice Cream Sandwich, Fresh Honeydew Sorbet and Green Apple Tart, to name just a few. Customers can have a free 8-ounce cup of yogurt – limit one per person – on Saturday. There will also be other give-aways at Menchie’s all week through Friday.

Miller, who also operates the nearby Qdoba Mexican restaurant, said he is looking forward to introducing the Menchie’s brand to the Terre Haute community.

“My partners, Lu Meis, Don Scott and I feel the Menchie’s brand really matched our own personal values of community and family,” Miller said in a news release prepared for the grand opening. “As a business, we plan on partnering with local schools and charities and look forward to sharing the Menchie’s experience with our home town of Terre Haute.”

The new Menchie’s store will seat about 20 people inside and also have outdoor seating, Miller said.

The colorful store features several frozen yogurt machines, a toppings bar and even Menchie’s gifts, including stuffed Menchie dolls for $12.99, lip balm with names like “Peachy Keen,” and Menchie’s T-shirts emblazoned with the brand’s various mascots. There is even a large blackboard upon which kids are invited to draw using large, brightly-colored pieces of chalk.

“We like to think there is something for everybody,” Miller said.

Meis and Scott discovered Menchie’s while out of state and felt it would go over well here, Miller said.  He agrees. Menchie’s uses only the best milk from California cows, avoids using high-fructose corn syrup and displays nutritional information with each selection, Miller noted. Fresh fruit toppings will be provided by local growers, he said.

Things inside the new Menchie’s appeared to be ready to go for Saturday’s grand opening, even at midweek. The Menchie’s corporation is strict about making sure its franchise locations are 100 percent ready on opening day, Miller noted.

As for the coming grand opening, a big crowd is expected, said Abel Marks, the store’s general manager. There has been a lot of activity on social media sites about the new Terre Haute business, he said. “I think it will go over really well.”

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com

 

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