SweetFrog, a self-serve frozen yogurt shop at 33 Office Park Road on Hilton Head Island, has been closed for more than five months, but new owners of the business hope to change that in the coming weeks.
Manny Alas, a Long Island, N.Y., resident who lives on Hilton Head for half the year, said acquiring the sweetFrog location was an opportunity that came up after Hurricane Matthew. He said he and his wife, Mary, heard the store had difficulties after the storm. They contacted the corporate sweetFrog office to reopen the location after its closure in December.
On the sweetFrog Hilton Head Island Facebook page, a post made Dec. 31, 2016 said the store was “closed temporarily due to mechanical/refrigeration issues.”
Another post made Feb. 1 reads, “We have gotten our refrigeration issues solved. Unfortunately, after suffering through loss of business due to Hurricane Matthew and the expense of repairing our refrigeration, (the owners) can no longer continue in business.”
Alas said May 2 he had finalized all the legal work and documentation to own the store, and is now in working on hiring a manager before opening.
“It’s attracted a tremendous amount of interest,” he said of the job posting.
When asked about a projected opening date, Alas said he hoped to open within the next three to five weeks.
“We’re basically trying to open and lift this store in the middle of tourist season,” he said.
Alas said he and Nancy were drawn to the sweetFrog franchise because of the values surrounding the brand. He said the original owner’s mission statement and acronym for “F.R.O.G.” in sweetFrog was “fully rely on God,” a message Alas said he appreciated.
After its opening, Alas said he wanted his business and team members to be engaged in the community on the island, whether it be at the school level to elder care. He said his team will be fairly active outside the store to make sure people know who they are and what they stand for.
“That’s what we want,” he said. “We want to be community-based, involved and let everyone know we’ll be a part of it.”