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Taste Bud Teaser: Orange Leaf to Open in Reading by Aug. 15

The new business will open on Main Street in the MF Charles building.

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.

M June 07, 2012 at 11:30 AM
I can't wait for this - have been to the Andover one and entire family loved it. Please Reading officials don't hold this up - let's break a record & get it open for the start of August. Downtown REALLY needs a good ice cream/frozen yogurt kind of place. Wakefield ctr has Cravings; Andover Ctr has this & others, we need something asap! There's nothing "exactly" like this concept (soft serve frozen yogurt in many flavors where you select all your own toppings, all sold by weight) anywhere around. We do have plenty of decent ice cream places, which coincidentally are all at the edges of town (e.g., Gregory's, Dandi-Lyon, Richardsons's). This would be a welcome addition, IMHO, plus it's truly a different concept.
Rowen O July 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM
I give it 2 years tops; waste of space.
MoF July 29, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Does anybody know when the OrangeLeaf will open? I drove by downtown yesterday and it doesn't seem like much work has been done to the future location.
Eileen M. July 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I was wondering the same thing. The article says Aug, 14, but I don't see how that is going to happen.
Eileen M. July 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Sorry...typo...Aug. 15
theonewhowanders August 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Any chance we could get an update on this or Zinga? Very disappointed they're not open. Are they still coming?
Roberta Palamara August 18, 2012 at 12:11 PM
I drove by and the sign was down. I really hope they are still coming. This is a perfect place for the kids to go.
Mr White August 18, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Looks like "Business Friendly" Reading is alive and well. I would not be surprised if the folks from Zinga are better connected to town officials and they have deliberately slowed the project down so that Zinga might open first. Just my $0.02
Marie August 25, 2012 at 06:12 PM
So is Orange Leaf still opening or what? it's past their opening date and sign is down. I've so been looking forward to it all summer. Do I have to keep giving Andover all my business?
Ron Powell August 25, 2012 at 06:54 PM
It would be nice to get an update from the Town Manager regarding Orange Leaf and Perfecto's Caffe. Orange Leaf was scheduled to open before August 15, and Perfecto's Caffe had promised to open in September of 2011. Both appear to have stalled, and the fact that the empty MF Charles Building was featured by CNBC when it identified Reading as a "Perfect Suburb" was considerably awkward.

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