An Orange Leaf yogurt store will open in Reading, on Main Street, downtown, in a little more than two months.
The projected opening date is Aug. 15 or sooner, according to James Alex, who holds the franchise with partner James Berberian.
Orange Leaf features “healthier options” of yogurt, according to Meredith Lynn, the company’s corporate press person. All flavors are under 45 calories per ounce. Those flavors range from banana through chocolate to white chocolate strawberry with toppings from kiwi to Reese’s cups. Customers pay by the ounce.
Renovations of 1,775 square feet of space in the MF Charles building on the corner of Main and Haven streets for Orange Leaf will begin before other renovations to that property are finished, Alex told Patch Wednesday.
The two Orange Leaf owners are in the process of filing an application with the Board of Health, Alex told Patch and working on final site plan details. Alex anticipates that construction will begin July 1.
The franchisees will “maintain the integrity” of the building owner’s design for the property’s facade, according to Alex. The inside will be corporate orange and lime green.
The business will include an outdoor patio, paved in brick, Alex said, in what is now an open area to the north of the building.
Alex and Berberian like to locate in downtowns, Alex said, near parking and schools, particularly high schools. New locations have opened all around the area, including Andover and Salem.
“We want to play our role in revitalizing the downtown,” he said.
They plan is to hire 20 employees locally, he said, to start. Employees are usually between 18 and 24, he said. In response to a flyer at the high school, Alex said they received 60 resumes.
In looking for the site that will become the Reading store, Alex said he and his partner looked for a place with about 30,000 people within several miles and a “confluence of roads.” They “looked at a lot of franchises,” Alex said. They believe in the Orange Leaf product, he said, and its brand awareness and strong corporate support.
Orange Leaf stores are usually open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to Alex. They could vary, he said, depending on the market.
The duo plan to open nine Orange Leaf stores in New England, Alex told Patch, in the coming year and a half. The first of their stores will open this coming week, on June 15, in Lexington, he said, on Mass. Ave. The Lexington store took 40 days to build, Alex said. They plan to open a store in Danvers, he said, in late August.