Whitney Chicoine, who has worked at Berryline’s Fenway location since its opening in June, said she noticed that the business began taking off at the end of the summer after college students returned from vacation.
“I’ve seen Fenway get a lot more popular in the past week,” she said. “With more people coming back to school, I think we’ll see a lot more customers.”
Christopher Saenz, who manages Berryline’s Harvard Square location and has worked there since Berryline first opened in September, 2007, said that the store’s busiest time is in the evenings after local families and college students have dinner.
“Things are crazy after eight,” he said.
But even with Berryline business pouring in, the familiar frozen yogurt dessert joint is far from being able to claim a monopoly on the frozen yogurt front.
National frozen yogurt chains such as Red Mango and Pinkberry carry similar tasting yogurts and fresh fruit toppings. All three companies, capitalizing on a wave of enthusiasm for trendy, low-calorie alternatives to traditional soft-serve, are looking for ways to advance their brand—and their service—in a crowded market.
Berryline’s three locations currently offer three flavors at any one time, allowing customers to choose from an “original” and two specialty flavors, such as guava or banana.
When Red Mango opens in downtown Boston as early as next month, it too will boast specialty flavors.
Back Bay resident Brittany J. Hartman, whose workplace is across the street from Berryline’s Harvard Square location, says she makes several trips per week specifically for the Cambridge-born frozen yogurt chain’s wares.
“I love the yogurt and the fresh fruit, and the fun art here and the friendly staff,” she said.
But Alexander F. Bagley, a second-year student at Harvard Medical School and a tutor in Winthrop House, was less enthusiastic about the frozen treat.
“This is my third time here and it was great the first time, but it’s been tailing off,” he said. “They need to change things up and add greater variety.”
Despite the variety of yogurt options already available in Boston, there has been word that other players might be looking to make their way onto the crowded frozen treat landscape.
According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, Mayor Thomas M. Menino has met with California-based frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry, which is rumored to be looking into locations in Back Bay, Downtown Crossing, and Fenway.
—Staff writer Shan Wang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.