With the return of warm weather, a popular West Coast dessert is coming to Main Campus.
Luv’n Spoonful, a self-serve yogurt bar, is close to opening at the base of the Edge, in what appears to be the beginning of more stores to come for the location.
“They’re all going to have a completely different taste,” Dustin Ciukurescu, Luv’n Spoonful’s owner and Temple alumnus, said.
Frozen yogurt bars have become most popular in California, where franchises such as Pinkberry and Red Mango were founded then expanded to include more than 150 locations each worldwide. The astounding success of these companies is what first sparked the idea for Ciukurescu and his father and co-worker, Steve Ciukurescu.
“In California you could have one of these [frozen yogurt bars] on every corner,” Steve Ciukurescu said. “A friend of ours from California said, ‘Hey man, you need to do this.’”
Dustin Ciukurescu, then a Temple sophomore sports management major, suggested to his father that they search in the Temple area to set up a new frozen yogurt brand. After a few other locations fell through, they landed a deal with the Edge to develop space, then use it for storage.
For the Edge, this is the first of a series of companies it plans to bring to these spaces. Assistant Vice President of Operations at the Edge Andrew Hansen said the Edge is talking to four other businesses, and potential leases have been created for four more companies interested in the other slots like the one Luv’n Spoonful will be operating in.
“There are a lot of potential options,” Hansen said. “This is one of the most populated areas. There are just so many people for a good business to do well.”
These slots at the Edge were originally designed for use by private businesses including a tea shop, package store, smoothie shop and sandwich restaurant. All of these businesses were soon gone with the exception of Jimmy John’s.
“It was a little wild the first year,” Bruce Torres, general manager of the Jimmy John’s branch at the Edge, said. “But we just knew that it was going to succeed.”
The empty slots were then used by the Edge for storage. However, new management took over last fall and shifted the focus back to using the space for businesses.
“We are a fresh and experienced team,” Hansen said. “We can do better than the past.”
Hansen envisions a variety of stores for these slots possibly varying from a tech store to tanning shop to a mini-market, he said. He said he believes the potential is now there due to the steady economic growth in the local area. Torres also sees potential in the area with his business being well established.
“The fact that we’re here can only help now,” Torres said.
Luv’n Spoonful’s opening has been delayed due to city approval procedures, but Dustin and Steve Ciukurescu aim to open April 17 in time for Spring Fling, they said.
“We just have to make sure every ‘I’ is dotted and ‘T’ is crossed,” Steve Ciukurescu said. “It will be a great place when we open.”
Marcus McCarthy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.