Until now, Hilltoppers who wanted to taste what's billed as the only 100 percent all natural, nonfat frozen yogurt had to make a trip to Montclair or to New York City. That changes with the March 18 opening of Summit's own Red Mango frozen yogurt franchise, which is located in the heart of the business district at the intersection of Beechwood Road and Bank Street.
Construction on the site is still under way, and Short Hills' Jennifer Rothburg, who owns the business with her husband, says she is excited to bring a new taste to the Hill City.
"We love this town," she said. "Summit's a great business town. It has great schools and a strong community. And I love the location–it's right near the train and in a place where we're building a nice partnership with other businesses. I really appreciate how friendly and welcoming they've been."
Rothburg said she is also happy to be working with Red Mango. She comes from a background in retail, but took time off to focus on her family.
"I had been wanting to go back to work. When I got the chance to try the product in Manhattan and in Montclair, I absolutely loved it. So I did some research and learned that Red Mango is a terrific company," she said.
The Rothburgs own the franchise outright, a situation that suits Jennifer, who plans on being a very hands-on owner.
"It's the ideal situation," she said. "I get to own my own business with the backing and support of a company we respect."
Best of all, she said she is thrilled about the product she and her staff will sell.
"Red Mango is all-natural yogurt with no powders or additives," she said. "We use all fresh, liquid yogurt with no artificial flavors or sugar. And it's all nonfat."
She notes one exception: Red Mango's dark chocolate yogurt is made with real Ghirardelli ground dark chocolate, which is low-fat. In addition, all Red Mango varieties are gluten-free and feature real active and live cultures with probiotics.
"That's good for immune systems," she said.
The Summit Red Mango franchise will offer customers self-serve yogurt that they can garnish with the healthy or fun toppings of their choice and purchase for 49 cents per ounce. Ten different flavors will be on the menu at all times. The shop will also feature fresh fruit smoothies.
"We make it with no juice–it's all fruit and yogurt, and customers can add protein if they like," Rothburg said, noting that it's "a great alternative" for breakfast, lunch, or snack time. The smoothies will retail for $5.95 and come in fruit flavors including strawberry-banana and mango-pineapple. She said lots of staff will be on hand to help and that people can create concoctions featuring whatever fruit combinations they like.
Rothburg boasts that the new business will bring the Hill City great taste, style, and health benefits.
"Most people here have never tried our frozen yogurt, and they've never had it the way Red Mango does it," she said.