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Biz Beat: Menchie’s Moves Closer to Opening

The Sunrise Plaza frozen yogurt shop, owned by a family with deep ties to Lindenhurst, aims to bring a family feel and self-serve concept to the community.

in North Lindenhurst is closer to getting another new business: Menchie’s, a neighborhood franchise location of an international frozen yogurt chain that has more than 200 locations around the globe.

But if it sounds like big business is moving into 646B North Wellwood Avenue, then fear not. It’s being opened and run by the Kirby family, which has deep ties to Lindenhurst.

Debbie and her husband, Steve, decided to open this self-serve, frozen-yogurt shop right here in the same town in which she grew up, and she and Kevin have raised her three kids: Kevin, Falon and Keith.

And the entire family, with the help of some friends, will be bringing that hometown, family-friendly feel to the new store that’ll feature the franchise’s “Mix, Weigh, Pay” model of experiencing frozen yogurt.

Lindenhurst Patch spoke with Debbie Kirby about her family’s new shop, the reason behind becoming first-time business owners, and her family’s Lindy ties.

Here’s what she had to say:

What will offer?
“We offer 16 different flavors that’ll constantly be updated, with the exception of vanilla and chocolate. There's a variety of yogurts - non-fat, no-sugar-added, gluten-free, low-carb and kosher - and sorbets. Sample cups are also available so guests could try the flavor first. At the topping station there are 40 different dry toppings and 18 cold toppings, including fresh fruits at our chill bar, plus waffle bowls. All of these different choices give customers the opportunity to create their own mix, putting together as little or as much as wanted, then paying by weight. In this tough economy it's a budget-friendly treat.”

What’s your background?
“This business is completely different from anything my family’s ever done. My husband, Steve, is a retired member of Ironworkers Local 40, I'm a stay-at-home mom, and our oldest son Kevin owns FiveStarVacationHomes.com, a luxury home property management company that caters to families visiting the Disney area.”

What’s the one thing people should know about the store?
“We want people to know although this is an International franchise, this store is family-owned and -operated, and will feel like a mom-and-pop store. Our store employees will be made up of our family, some close friends, and high school and college students.

Why did you open a business in Lindy?
“We decided to open Menchie's here because we know this town so well. I've lived in Lindenhurst my entire life. Steve moved here when we were married 25 years ago.”

Why did you decide to open a business in this tough economy?
“We were looking to open a business locally for several years, but never found a product we really liked until we discovered Menchie's. We became aware of Menchie's while visiting Kevin [in Florida]. He brought us to a local store, and it was a hit. Our younger kids, Falon and Keith, and their friends loved it.

How long has the store been in the works?
“We started seriously working on this project a year ago. The most positive thing has been working with the Town of Babylon Building Department. Everyone there has gone out of their way to help us get the permits we needed. Most people also seem genuinely excited to hear something new is coming to our town. The most challenging has been the build-out; we’ve had a lot of setbacks, and had hoped to be open by now.”

When will the store be open?
“We hope to have our grand opening celebration in October, which will continue for a week. We’ll have a ribbon-cutting ceremony with our mascot Menchie, free T-shirts for the first 50 guests, free yogurt (for a limited time) and a balloon artist. Throughout the week there’ll also be other give-aways like plush dolls and dodge-balls. Everyone can like us on Facebook at Menchie's Sunrise Plaza, where we’ll keep people posted about when we'll be opening and about our store hours.”

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