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Frozen yogurt franchisee expands presence with second shop

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Photo by Stacy Wescoe/ Kevin, left and Rich Ryan are opening a second Menchie's Frozen Yogurt in Allentown.
Photo by Stacy Wescoe/ Kevin, left and Rich Ryan are opening a second Menchie's Frozen Yogurt in Allentown.

Business is hot for frozen yogurt shops in the Lehigh Valley – so much so that one pair of local frozen yogurt franchise owners is looking to expand to a second location.

Rich and Kevin Ryan, a father and son who own the Menchie’s on Cedar Crest Boulevard in Allentown, expect to open a second Menchie’s in the Airport Center in East Allentown in April.

It’s the third Lehigh Valley Menchie’s. A Menchie’s on Route 512 in Bethlehem Township is owned by a separate franchisee, but was built by the Ryans, who also run Ryan Elliot Custom homes and are a Menchie’s corporate-approved construction contractor.

In fact, Rich Ryan said, the Cedar Crest location originally was supposed to just be a side gig for him – something his son, Kevin, would run with dad’s help. But, Rich Ryan said, the Cedar Crest store is so busy that he spends the majority of his time there, too.

It’s been worth his investment of time. In the shop’s first nine months of operation, it exceeded sales projections by more than 30 percent. It also consistently ranked at the top of sales charts among the more than 200 Menchie’s locations around the country. It ranked as high as No. 12 during the summer and maintained rankings in the 50s during the winter, when it was competing with shops in warmer climates such as California, Texas and Florida.

“We’ve been pretty busy, busier than we thought we’d be,” said Rich Ryan. “We’re very happy with the performance of the store.”

And now he’s looking to replicate that in the new shop – a task neither man is taking lightly.

Both said they understand that frozen yogurt shops are a big business craze and the market will eventually retract, “shaking out” weaker competitors.

“We’re determined to not be the ones shaken out,” said Kevin Ryan.

To do that, they said, they are stepping up their profile with the expansion and by becoming the sponsor of the Kids Club for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs that play just down the street from the new store.

Kevin Ryan said he thinks strong branding, customer service and choosing good locations will keep them on top in the competitive frozen yogurt field. They’re even eyeing a third shop and have started to investigate potential locations for a 2014 opening.

The new Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is in the Airport Center, 1251 Airport Road, Allentown.

Wegmans gets bigger with expanded café, bar on the way

Wegmans has unveiled its new 15,000-square-foot addition – the first part of a major expansion at the grocery store.

The addition, which opened March 21, features a new Market Café entrance and a new café seating area with more than 200 seats.

That number includes seating for 66 in the new Timber Room, which is decorated with a stone fireplace.

Also part of the new space is an expanded beer area. The store now will have 1,200 different beer selections, compared to the 700 it was previously able to stock.

The new seating area replaces the store’s mezzanine café, which had seated 165 diners. That space will be renovated and will be available for private parties or business meetings. The new dining area is all on the main floor.

In late April, a new outdoor patio with seating for 40 will open. It will feature a fireplace and pergola for dining al fresco. The Pub, a 130-seat, full-service restaurant and bar, will then open in late spring. Once opened, combined indoor, outdoor and Pub seating will total nearly 400, more than doubling the number of seats currently available.

Wegmans noted that the expansion also means the addition of 50 jobs (part-time and full-time) at the Tilghman Street store, which currently employs more than 700. It brings the size of the store to 123,000 square feet.

Woman brings Caribbean spa experience to Bethlehem

A new massage therapy center has opened in Bethlehem. Simone Francois, a licensed massage therapist for more than 10 years, began her career working for spas in the Caribbean islands.

She brought her brand of massage therapy with the March 1 opening of Intuitive Touch Massage Therapy Center.

“My goal is to create a place were we have a lasting impression, a multitude of clients that enjoy the experience every time they walk through our doors,” said Francois.

The center offers several types of massages as well as body treatments ranging from sugar scrubs, salt detox scrubs, mud wraps and facials.

Intuitive Touch Massage Therapy Center is located at 1111 W. Broad St. in Bethlehem.

For more information, visit www.intuitivetouchspa.com.

Editor’s note: We want to hear about your new business or product. Contact Stacy Wescoe at (610) 807-9619 ext. 104 or send an email to stacyw@lvb.com. To be considered, a new venture should be under 60 days old or starting within 60 days.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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