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FreeStyle Yogurt Opens at HarMar Mall

The frozen yogurt provider now has three shops and hopes to have seven altogether by the end of 2013.

FreeStyle Yogurt, looking to scoop out its own niche in the Twin Cities' competitive frozen yogurt sector, has opened for business at HarMar Mall in Roseville. 

The frozen yogurt retailer opened its new 1,620 square-foot shop on Saturday, taking advantage of what company founder Dave Brandner said is, among other things, HarMar Mall's great visibility and access. The mall is located at the southeast corner of Snelling Avenue and County Road B.

Brandner told Roseville Patch Tuesday the company chose to open in Roseville, its third store, because of the strong customer trade its inaugural St. Paul store has attracted from several East Metro suburbs including Roseville, New Brighton, White Bear Lake and Shoreview.

"Roseville as a trade area performs extremely well," said Brandner, who opened FreeStyle's inaugural store in St. Paul in January and followed suit with a second store in October in Hudson, Wis. (Click on this link to read about the Hudson store on Hudson Patch.)

FreeStyle Yogurt stores offer self-serve yogurt in, at any given time, 14 different flavors with more than 50 different toppings available. Throughout the course of a year, the stores will rotate their different yogurt flavors, offering more than a 100 different kinds. Flavors offered right now include raspberry tart, appie pie, strawberry and pumpkin.

The company, on its web site, also touts its yogurts as "Kosher-certified" with many available in non-fat, no-sugar added, gluten-free flavors.

Meanwhile, the stores' ambience includes bright red and white colors with surfboard-shaped tables. A key customer group is kids and young adults, Brandner  said. 

So far, a clerk said the Roseville store has been attracting a mix of new customers and some already familiar with FreeStyle Yogurt.

Among FreeStyle's Roseville customers is Mary Howard, who said she has been waiting for the new store to open. On Tuesday afternoon, she ordered a tart with raspberries, strawberries and pretzels among its toppings.

Howard, of Minneapolis, said she sometimes has visited FreeStyle's St. Paul shop up to three times in a single day.

"I am definitely a fan," Howard said, saying she likes the texture of FreeStyle's yogurts and its competitive prices.

Looking ahead, Brandner said his company plans to open a store in the Tangletown neighborhood of southwest Minneapolis next March and hopes to add another three stores by the end of 2013.

Longer-term, Brandner said hopes to build his Twin Cilties-based company into the "Caribou Coffee or Dunn Bros. of frozen yogurt in Minnesota."

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