The dream of owning a business has followed Lewis and Susan Cohn since the early days of their marriage.
Lewis Cohn, a lawyer, and Susan Cohn, a real estate professional, had no idea that the dream would finally come to reality in the form of a self-serve frozen yogurt shop in Wayland.
Standing in the brightly lit, memorably pink and green interior of Frozen Yogurt Innovations, Susan Cohn said the frozen yogurt focus of their business was selected "kind of on a whim."
"Self-serve soft serve is the big thing right now," Cohn said. In addition, the dearth of frozen treat options in Wayland made it seem like a good idea.
The Cohns have lived in Wayland for about 19 years and started seriously considering this specific business opportunity last August. Their space in the l building on the corner of Main Street and East Plain Street was available as a blank slate, and about six weeks ago, they started building out the space.
When FYI opens its doors on May 16, customers will find eight flavors of frozen yogurt -- two of the tart variety and the rest traditional sweet frozen yogurt -- in self-serve pumps along the left wall. At the back of the shop, two separate treat bars -- one nut-free -- will be available for customers to top their cups of yogurt.
What those toppings will be, Cohn said would be almost as much a surprise to her as to the customers.
The toppings, as well as the logo-stamped cups for the yogurt, were some of the last things to arrive at FYI for the opening. Cohn said they printed label stickers for the yogurt cups that will have to do until the stamped ones come in.
No matter the look of the cup or the array of the toppings, Cohn said she hopes people "Come, eat, fill up and have a good time."
Customers will select their yogurt from flavors that currently include cheesecake, strawberry, Oreo, cinnamon bun and more. Cohn said she and her husband visited food shows and existing yogurt shops to sample the products and get an idea of how their business could operate.
Cohn said that a lot of the places they visited made their own yogurt, but in those places the consistency of the product was questionable and it took a lot of work. In the end, the Cohns elected to purchase their yogurt from a local distributor rather than trying to make it themselves.
After topping the yogurt, customers will head to the cashier area where their yogurt creations will be weighed. FYI will charge $.49 per ounce, so customers pay for exactly the amount of yogurt they want.
Cohn said there are plans down the road to offer customer loyalty cards and discounts. And the business will adapt as the Cohns get a feel for what flavors and toppings customers like best.
In addition to the yogurt, FYI will also be selling its T-shirts and hats -- the uniforms employees will wear. One thing it won't be selling is soda.
Health is a focus of FYI as evidenced by the nutrition facts posted next to every yogurt flavor. In keeping with that theme, a variety of waters will be available.
Cohn said they plan to operate FYI as a year-round business and are pleased to be able to offer high school students another option when it comes to working locally.
High school students, it seems, are also pleased with the opportunity as Cohn said they received more applications than there are positions available.
Frozen Yogurt Innovations will be open weekdays from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. It will welcome its first customers Wednesday afternoon.