Menchie's Fro-yo Franchise Set To Launch At White Oak

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Facing a saturated frozen yogurt market in Northern Virginia, an Ashburn couple is hoping the Richmond market is a little less frothy.

Jodie and Carl Brendlinger plan to open a Menchie's Frozen Yogurt franchise this month at 4501 S. Laburnum Ave. in White Oak Village. The couple signed a 10-year lease in August for about 1,300 square feet.

Jodie Brendlinger Jodie Brendlinger (Photos by Michael Thompson) This is the first business venture for the couple. Carl Brendlinger, 50, works as a government contractor. Jodie Brendlinger, 46, has worked as a dental hygienist for the past 20 years and will continue to work a part-time.

"Menchie's makes people smile," Jodie Brendlinger said. "Being in dentistry, I've been making people smile for 20 years." Menchie's is an Encino, Calif.-based frozen yogurt company founded in 2007. It has about 350 locations around the world, including spots at the Shoppes at Westgate near Short Pump and at the Rutland Commons in Mechanicsville.

The Brendlingers face their share of competition. Carytown's Yapple Yogurt reopened in November, and Richmond-based Sweet Frog recently launched its 300th location.

Still, launching a frozen yogurt shop in Northern Virginia might have been an even taller order. By her last count, there are 13 frozen yogurt shops within an eight-mile radius of her Ashburn home, Brendlinger said.

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt is set to open this month at 4501 S. Laburnum Ave. (Photos by Michael Thompson) Menchie's is set to open this month at 4501 S. Laburnum Ave.

She would not say how much it cost to launch the Menchie's at White Oak Village but said she and her husband are using loans and personal savings to finance the effort. The average startup cost for a Menchie's franchise is $310,000, according to the company's website.

They have hired 15 part-time employees, including eight Varina High School students.

Construction on the space began in October, and the Brendlingers hired Adam Pillsbury of UrbanBuilt Construction to do the work.

The duo is already thinking about expanding.

"We plan on opening two more Menchie's," Brendlinger said. "If we could find another A+ location in Richmond, that would be great."

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16027 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 301
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