Plymouth's Frozen Yogurt Market Heats Up
Yogurt Palooza owners say they're disappointed that competitor is moving across the street.
Downtown Plymouth is expected to get another self-serve frozen yogurt store — directly across the street from the one already there, Yogurt Palooza on Main Street near Ann Arbor Trail.
Yummie Yogurt, a family-owned business based in Farmington Hills, will open at the multi-story restaurant and retail building on the southeast corner of Main Street and Ann Arbor Trail, the former site of a long-vacant gas station.
Yummie Yogurt features an ever-changing menu of flavors, self-serve toppings and a pay-by-the-ounce policy, which mirrors Yogurt Palooza's business model.
Chris Tomei and Craig Turk, co-owners of Yogurt Palooza, said they learned Yummie Yogurt was coming to Plymouth when the sign went up in the building.
Yummie Yogurt owner Tony Nguyen said the shop is planned to open by the end of March. He said that because of the food court style of the building, the other establishments, like Mexican restaurant Las Cazuelas Grill, will open together.
"They sympathized with us," he said.
But Turk said he was disappointed that Yummie Yogurt would decide to open across the street, the landlord would lease a place for that purpose and the city does not have rules to prevent this.
"It's bad economics and it's bad ethics," Tomei said.
He said it doesn't make sense for either business because both would struggle. Turk agreed and said the city needs diverse establishments.
"We're not coming in to try to take anyone out of business," Nguyen said. "Plymouth is overcrowded so that’s why we came in. We're not worried about not getting customers."
He said during the weekends there are many events in Plymouth, so there should be enough business for everyone.
"We don't have a problem with fair competition," Turk said. "If they were not directly across the street, I wouldn't have as much of a problem with it."
But the window in which Yummie Yogurt's sign hangs is in plain sight from Yogurt Palooza's windows.
"It's a yogurt's cup throw from our store," Tomei said.
Yogurt Palooza will have been open for two years in July. Tomei and Turk, who grew up in the area, said customers have said they will stay loyal to Yogurt Palooza.
The building, which has faced several delays, remains under construction. Ed Dombrowski, who owns the property, is advertising space available for retail and restaurants between 500 and 7,000 square feet.