In addition to Wegman's, there's another new (several months old) food business very close to my home. But this one is not a huge supermarket chain. It's called Whirled Peace, and they have done so well that they are thinking about opening a second location.
The primary business of Whirled Peace is selling frozen yogurt. Their major new wrinkle is this. They provide cups, four different flavors per day (today's were chocolate, mango, plain tart, and coconut), and a host of simple toppings (chopped fresh fruit, nuts, flaked coconut, granola, etc.). You fill your cup as you see fit, and at the end of the toppings line is a clerk with a scale and a register. The price? $.50 USD (50 cents) per ounce. If you like, you can have them add a fruit juice, place the mixture in a blender for a few minutes, and serve up the result to you as a smoothie.
They also sell some beverages, including high-quality fruit juices and iced teas, free trade organic coffee, and some fruit breads and food bars. And that's it.
However, don't be deceived by the simplicity and limited range. Like Wegman's, Whirled Peace is also interested in meeting a multiplicity of their customers' needs. Consider the following:
- Concerned about the environment? The packaging for the foods and drinks they sell are either recyclable or biodegradable. That includes the straws and spoons. The spoons look like plastic, but are actually made from a compressed cornstarch formula that degrades peacefully and harmlessly in a landfill after 45 days or so.
- Concerned about underprivileged nations? See the free trade coffee mentioned above. (I don't drink coffee, so I can't vouch for its quality.)
- Want to "give back"? Whirled Peace has a "cause of the week" program, where every week they give a portion of their sales to donate to a worthy charity or project.
- Watching your weight? Their frozen yogurt is only 100 calories for 4 ounces--which is a reasonably satisfying dessert portion. Just stick with fresh fruit as a topping or limit the amount of toppings you use and you're set.
- Concerned about aspartame? Their frozen yogurt doesn't have any.
- In addition, their frozen yogurt is kosher.
- Want a breather? They've set up a little cafe area in their front parking lot, with tables and Chinese-style electric lanterns, which is surprisingly pleasant despite being located along the town's busy main street. There's also a few tables inside the facility itself, and a few old magazines on hand to skim as you're eating.
- Need your caffeine fix? They sell their free trade coffee at a drive-through window every day from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- Having a party? They do catering.
- And they are, of course, on Facebook and Twitter.
The yogurt is delicious, by the way. Tonight, I had mango yogurt, which I topped with fresh mango pieces and fresh strawberry pieces. Yum.
Is it any surprise that they're doing land office business? I think not.