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Frozen yoghurt store to open East End branch

Set to open: Mother and son team, Regina and JJ Hall prepare to open the new Yo Cherry in St George (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A frozen yoghurt store is to open a branch in St George’s — with its doors opening around the Cup Match weekend.

Yo Cherry owner Carlos Francis — who opened his first store in Hamilton in 2013 — said public demand had led to the move.

Mr Francis, a former building contractor who branched out after the recession hit, added: “The folks there have been asking us from day one to open up there as well.”

But Mr Francis said he would not open a new store without thorough research into the market and its demographics.

He added: “Now the research has been completed, it was time for us to go there.”

Mr Francis, as with the stylish red-tiled, white and green Hamilton store, designed and built the interior of his new venture, on the Old Town’s York Street, opposite the Somers Supermarket.

Mr Francis said: “We are shooting for the Cup Match weekend in St George’s. There are a few things out of our control, but if we get our container by Monday we should be able to open.”

He added: “This is going to be similar, although the products will be more diverse than in town.

“We will be starting off with the regular soft serve frozen yoghurt and then we’re going to branch out into artisan ice cream and sorbets.”

And Mr Francis said: “We will also be doing some other stuff we have in research and development now.”

The St George’s venture comes less than two years after the first Yo Cherry opened in Hamilton’s Bermudiana Road.

Mr Francis said the positive customer reaction and sales had encouraged his original dream of a mini business empire spanning central, east and west.

He added: “We are always on the lookout. People in the west have asked us a about a store there too.

“It’s about finding the right location which will work well with the product and we expect to find somewhere out there in the near future.”

Before opening in the city, Mr Francis and wife Regina, who works in reinsurance, had designs on an ice-cream parlour — but after looking at the market decided frozen yoghurt was the treat of the future.

Mr Franics said frozen yoghurt offers all the joys of ice cream, but in no- or low-fat yoghurt with the added advantage of five active live cultures, three of them probiotic.

The ingredients — sourced from the US — are created in a Food and Drug Administration-approved plant and are certified to contain active live cultures and as kosher.