Maybe I have written too much about the new self-serve frozen yogurt shops in Aberdeen, but I can't help it because they are such a phenomena.
When Cherry Berry opened last week on Sixth Avenue Southwest across from Kessler's, the shop was packed with customers for four days. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the flat $3 charge per container drew crowds. The State B Wrestling tournament, which ran through Saturday at Wachs Arena, added more traffic.
I talked with Mark Hanley, Cherry Berry manager, who said it was "standing room only."
While Cherry Berry had planned for a big turnout, Hanley still had to scramble to get enough yogurt on hand. He said that Ken Peterson, Cherry Berry representative for South Dakota, had to meet a truck in Redfield to bring more product to Aberdeen for Saturday. Management also had to re-route a delivery truck so it could arrive Sunday to replenish supplies.
The shop was extremely busy Saturday when wrestling fans were in Aberdeen.
"We would get 30 customers from the same small town, and after they would leave, we would get a bunch more from another town," Hanley said.
I happened to be driving on Sixth Avenue Southwest on Saturday evening and noticed through its big windows that Cherry Berry was almost spilling over with people. I continued up Sixth Avenue and noticed that Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, which opened about three months ago, had a decent sized crowd as well.
Hanley told me that business has settled down now, but Cherry Berry is still busy, especially after 3 p.m. when school is dismissed.
"We are usually busy from then until closing," he said.
More frozen treats will be available soon when the Twist Cone opens. According to its Facebook page, the iconic ice cream shop will open for the season on March 13. It is closed over the winter months.
While customers love getting frozen treats from the shop on 503 N. Third St., many can't wait for the food. In a story I did last year, I interviewed patrons on their favorite menu items and many mentioned the barbecues and side orders. The children pretty much all go with the ice cream - especially the cones with the little candy eyes.
The Pit Stop
The Aberdeen Pit Stop, formerly Louie's Service, has opened a new casino in its remodeled garage.
Deb Stoltman purchased Louie's at 2323 Eighth Ave. N.E. last year and has embarked on an ambitious makeover of the place. The first phase, converting the garage into a casino with video lottery machines, is complete. The grand opening is set for March 21-22.
Soon, the interior of the c-store will be remodeled. It will include the installation of a service counter where Hot Stuff pizza and sandwiches will be sold. A new drop ceiling will be installed and the interior spruced up. The interior remodel should be completed by April, Stoltman said.
Exterior work will begin after that, including the installation of new fuel tanks, fuel pumps and new signs that say The Pit Stop.
It is a big investment, but with the growth of that part of Aberdeen (including the construction of the Paramount Retail Center across the street) it seems like a good move.