Students on the north side of UC Berkeley no longer need to trudge across campus to get their frozen yogurt fix after the opening of a new Menchie’s frozen yogurt franchise Wednesday.
The franchise, located at 1862 Euclid Ave., will have its grand opening Saturday and will feature free yogurt for guests between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The restaurant will be open Monday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Prior to the opening of Menchie’s, there were few dessert options on the north side of the campus, according to Stacey and David Aucella, who own the Menchie’s. Finding this location was thrilling, they said.
“Everything around here is food, and that seems to be what does the best,” David said. “Our real hope is that not only Cal Berkeley but the community in the North Berkeley Hills will come down with their families and young children.”
The south side of campus has more dessert options, however, which sometimes leads to concerns about competition. Yogurt Park manager Ryan Piscovich said that he is glad Menchie’s is on the other side of campus, because there is already a lot of competition on the south side.
“The area is already pretty watered down with frozen desserts,” Piscovich said. “(Yogurt Park has) been here for 35 years, so I think that we are pretty deeply rooted in the community as it is, but any time you hear of a new place opening up, it is a little disheartening.”
Kat Kirkeby, a Berkeley resident who lives nearby said that she was thrilled when she heard about Menchie’s because it is closer to her than other frozen yogurt locations. However, she was disappointed to find out that Menchie’s is more expensive.
“I’m weighing the pros and cons, because (Menchie’s) tastes better,” Kirkeby said. “The fruity flavors taste fruitier, their topping setup is really neat and the whole setup is very organized. I like it. It’s very tasty.”
Stacey said that the mission of Menchie’s is to make people smile and provide an experience. With indoor and outdoor seating, she said, it is a place where people can relax and leave the stress of the outside world to enjoy themselves.
“It’s looking fantastic,” said Wesley Baker, who works for the Menchie’s global headquarters to help setup franchises. “The franchisees have set it up, the team is fully ready to go, the store is beautiful and I think the community of Berkeley is going to fully embrace Menchie’s and our values and culture.”
Stacey and David hope to become part of the community. Stacey said that there is already a local following of people that have never heard of Menchie’s before, but that have been eagerly waiting for it to open.
“I hope that when people think about where they want to have a special treat, where they feel comfortable hanging out and where they like to come meet their friends and have a low-fat dessert that is more than half the calories of ice cream, they’ll come to Menchie’s,” Stacey said.
Contact Sasha Costello at [email protected]