Find Out What Sweet Frog Is Because Ohio's First Store is Opening in Stow
Expect the self-serve yogurt shop to open June 1 at the Oregon Trails Plaza.
Stow Resident Matt Lee went from handing out soft-serve as a teenage lifeguard at a snack shop to opening the first-ever Sweet Frog in Ohio.
Owners Matt, his wife Heidi and Fringe Salon & Spa owners Andrew and Linsey Smith decided the Oregon Trials Plaza will be home to a Sweet Frog, a Virginia-founded business where customers will make their own fro-yo (frozen yogurt) creations.
The store is slated to open June 1 at 3030 Graham Rd. at 3 p.m.
There is a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled with the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce at noon June 4.
First patrons choose from 16 different frozen yogurt flavors, including low fat, sugar-free and non-fat options, and then selecting from dozens of toppings to finish off their dessert.
"It’s more than just frozen yogurt," said Matt. "It’s about the experience and the fun. We have to continue working to get the name recognized in the area but we have no doubt that Sweet Frog is the right option for Stow."
There are 70 Sweet Frogs open today, mostly on the east coast. But, Stow's Sweet Frog will be the first in Ohio, said Matt, who has lived in Stow with his wife and three children for 12 years.
"It's as recognizable as a Starbucks in Virginia," said Matt, 35, who currently works from home for a large corporation. "My vision is to allow the Sweet Frog operation to expand to other stores and make this my full-time job eventually."
The store will be operated by the owners, and the plan is to hire about 10 part-time employees.
"We have been receiving wonderful response from the community and the initial interaction on our Facebook page (Sweet Frog Stow) is fantastic,” said Linsey.
The Road to Sweet Frog in Stow wasn't Exactly Easy Though
Matt explained that the process to start a business is difficult for obvious reasons. But, when the four Stow residents started this entrepreneurial journey, Sweet Frog wasn't the first choice.
Matt, his wife and co-owner friends stopped at another self-serve yogurt place in Fairlawn in the winter and noticed that business was anything but slow even on a snowy day.
Matt said he started talking to the franchise and began the process of opening in Stow only to learn that because of exclusivity reasons established by another owner in Cleveland, Stow wouldn't be getting a store.
"We really wanted to open something in the community we live in. We thought the door had closed and we were really bummed," Matt said, until some family members from Virginia suggested opening a Sweet Frog.
"I said, 'I don't know Sweet Frog from Adam' ... but after some research, I thought it was absolutely fitting for what we wanted to open," he said. " At the end of the day, we want this to be an opportunity to build relationships with local schools, families, churches, sports teams ... we think a store like Sweet Frog can do that in this city."
According to Matt, having the opportunity to open the store in Stow is just the cherry on top of the self-serve yogurt sundae.