Holmdel is now home to Peachwave, a national frozen yogurt chain that allows customers to build their own treat from top to bottom.
Even though this isn't the franchise's first location, it is the first yogurt shop that Aberdeen resident Al Prachar, a retired vice president of information technology from a New York company, has owned.
"A friend of mine found this franchise down in Florida and before I knew it we were looking at locations in New Jersey," Prachar said.
Prachar and his friend, Marty Eisner, who is now his business partner, almost chose to open the shop in Basking Ridge but found the spot in Holmdel too good too pass up.
"We really liked the specific location of this with the courtyard, the visibility from the parking lot. We were a day away from signing the Basking Ridge lease and we chose to opt for this one," Prachar said.
The company's business model is one that has been growing in popularity in recent years, allowing customers to select and serve themselves any combination of the sixteen available frozen yogert flavors before getting creative at the topping bar. There are thirty flavors total that are rotated out based on seasons and popularity, Prachar said.
Peachwave will hold is grand opening in the Kohl's Shopping Plaza at 2145 Route 35 in Holmdel on Saturday, Oct. 6. To officially welcome the yogurt shop to the township, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. with Holmdel Mayor Pat Impreveduto. The shop will open up at 12 p.m. and will be offering 10% off coupons to customers as well as balloons to children.
The shop quietly opened about a week ago and Prachar and his daughter Jennifer, who manages the store, have been working to train the staff and fine-tune all of the small details before Saturday. Even so, customers have been bustling in and out as they notice the colorful neon green and orange decor.
Mike Schino, 21, of Hazlet, and his friend Sam Saylor, 23, who was visiting from Cincinatti, recently enjoyed their first experience at Peachwave in Holmdel. Schino noticed the frozen yogurt shop while at a nearby pizza place.
"It was pretty good and a good amount cheaper than other places, without losing any of the quality," Shino said, who tried the peanut butter flavor. The yogurt costs 45 cents per ounce.
"And they have good flavors too," added Saylor, who opted for the white chocolate yogurt.
Prachar notes that the taste actually surprised him when he first sampled Peachwave while visiting his business partner in Florida.
"When I first tasted this product I couldn't believe how creamy and rich it was and I couldn't believe I was eating yogurt. I had never really eaten frozen yogurt in my life. I had the coconut and it knocked me off my feet," he said. "This yogurt is made fresh in our kitchen with skim milk, yogurt powder and flavoring. Many of the other yogurt franchises use frozen yogurt which they have to thaw out and pour into their machines."
"Along with healthful toppings, Peachwave frozen yogurt is a naturally good source of calcium and protein and is packed with live and active cultures that are good for your body," the website states.
Peachwave now has locations in 19 states from Alaska to Florida, and even a location in the Cayman Islands. The Peachwave in Holmdel is the very first to open in New Jersey, but if all goes well it might just one of many.
"My business partner wants to open several in New Jersey, so we'll see how this goes," said Prachar.