The frozen yogurt wave has crashed into Bethel in the form of Peachwave and now it might be spreading across Connecticut
In July, the Clifford family, owners of the True Value hardware store in Dolan Plaza in Bethel, opened a self-serve frozen yogurt franchise called Peachwave in the same plaza at 213 Greenwood Ave. The frozen yogurt parlor was even more successful than they had hoped.
“Before school started this place was packed every night. Even we were surprised. The people just kept coming in,” said Bill Clifford who owns Peachwave along with his grown sons, Ryan and Shawn. “Business is still very good, better than we ever expected for this time of year.”
The store has been so successful that Peachwave's corporate headquarters has approved the Clifford family's company Clifyo Enterprises, LLC as area developer for the entire state of Connecticut. The Clifford family will be opening more Peachwaves themselves and will also be licnensing and serving as a consultant for other business owner interested in opening their own Peachwave store in Connecticut.
“This is an exploding business,” Clifford said. “Our plans are to open several stores in the Greater Danbury area.”
At Peachwave guests can choose from an assortment of tasty frozen yogurt flavors, including the most popular flavor which is chocolate peanut butter. There are also more than 50 different toppings. Patrons can put as little or as much yogurt in their bowl as they want, before they leave the bowl is weighed and they are charged accordingly.
Clifford explained that he and his sons made the unusual expansion from the hard ware business to the yogurt business in part due to chance. He said that they had been thinking about opening up another business in the same shopping center as their True Value store if a storefront became available.
“We first looked at things that were related to hardware,” he said.
That changed when he got a taste of Peachwave frozen yogurt. Clifford was in Florida and friends took him to a Peachwave location down there, he was immediately impressed.
“I thought the business model was just great and I thought the product was just great,” he said.
Two days later his sons called and told him there was a vacancy across from their hardware store in Dolan Plaza and Bethel's Peachwave was born.
Peachwave's business model varies from other frozen yogurt chains in one sense because they are not considered a franchise.
“We don't pay any fees to the corporate headquarters,” Clifford said. “Our agreement is to purchase our product from them which we get for very fair prices. And that's it. No fees period.”
So far costumers are quite happy with the Peachwave experience.
“It's the most delicious thing,” said Eli Peck, 23, of the yogurt. Peck, who lives in Redding added his favorite flavor was peanut butter.
Paris Wyard, 14, of Bethel said, “it's really good and it's a fun place to hang out with your friends.”
Frozen yogurt has increased in popularity recently and Clifford believes it's going to stay that way.
“I don't think healthy eatings going to go away,” he said. “You can come in here and make yourself a very healthy snack with very little fat and relatively low calories.”
Bethel's Peachwave is located at 213 Greenwood Ave. The store's phone number is 203-917-4481.