CHARLEVOIX -- Charlevoix residents and visitors have a new, healthier alternative to ice cream with the opening of Mitten's Frozen Yogurt bar earlier this year.
Jan and Scott Breithaupt have partnered in opening the new yogurt bar, and have plans to run the business year round. The Breithaupt family previously owned the Sears Hometown Store in Petoskey, but sold it last year giving Jan the availability to try the new yogurt concept.
Jan and Scott are a mother and son team, both with extensive experience in business. Long time local residents, Scott had been out of the state working as a photographer until recently.
"I've always loved the area, and wanted to return to be closer to my family," he said. "The business opportunity was just good timing for me too."
According to Scott, he and his mother had both visited this style of yogurt shop in different states previously and very much enjoyed the concept.
"It was something we felt the area was lacking," he said. "When my mother presented me with the idea of opening the shop, I immediately knew it was a good plan and would work."
Mitten's offers their customers six different flavors of yogurt to choose from and allows them to make it themselves. Each customer makes their own treat, in the style they prefer it by choosing from the approximately 40 different toppings on their topping bar.
"Customers can choose from fresh fruits to gummy bears, and also from a wide variety of syrups," Breithaupt said.
Once a customer has created their personalized dessert, it gets weighed at the register and they're charged just 49 cents an ounce. They also offer a make your own smoothie, which allows the customer to choose all the ingredients as well.
"By choosing their own ingredients, they can have as healthy or decadent a treat as they want," Breithaupt said.
The new store seems to be attracting people of all ages, according to the owners.
"We're finding that the children are bringing their parents in, and both are having a good time once they're here," Breithaupt said. "We're hoping to build on that by offering to host parties here in the fall," he added.
Mitten's also overlooks the water and has a deck which customers can relax on and enjoy their desserts. By building on the appeal to people of all ages, the Breithaupts say that business has been very good this summer, even with their late start having opened in mid June.
Mitten's is located in downtown Charlevoix at 212 Bridge St.
Regular business hours for the summer are noon-9 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Winter hours will be reduced, so they recommend calling directly at (231) 437-3338.