For Beth and Jacob Tepper of Shelton, opening a frozen yogurt shop in Shelton’s Huntington Center wasn’t just about running a business.
It also was about serving the community where they have raised their three children. “We are very family oriented and wanted to do something for the community,” Jacob said.
Another goal was to offer a product that’s “rich and decadent,” but also healthy. That’s especially important to Beth, who works as a paid motivational speaker for Weight Watchers.
Jacob said he wanted to sell a product that tastes like ice cream but is healthier, “with the benefits of yogurt.”
Anyone who tastes their frozen yogurt will like it, Beth said. “The key is to come in here and taste it,” she said. “It’s the closest to ice cream, and is 100% dairy.”
More than 20 flavors at a time
In early July, the couple opened Berry Chill in Huntington Plaza at 15 Huntington St. The shop offers 21 frozen yogurt flavors at a time plus more than 60 toppings, from candy to fruit.
“People come in here and they can create their own masterpiece,” Beth said. “There’s something to satisfy everyone.”
On a recent day, some of the flavors were sea salt caramel pretzel, Tahitian vanilla, strawberry cheesecake, candy bar smash, pink lemonade sorbet, and cupcake. Chocolate and mint chocolate chip are two big sellers.
The frozen yogurt is made with natural ingredients by a dairy farm and is gluten free
Sugar free, low fat and no fat varieties are available as well. They also sell yogurt-based smoothies and milkshakes.
‘A homegrown concept’
The Teppers decided not to open a franchise but to instead create their own brand, for which they came up with the name and logo.
Decisions were made during family discussions around the kitchen table, with their three children — son Oren, 20, and daughters Yarden, 19, and Siyan, 17 — participating. “This is a homegrown concept,” Beth said.
They spent six months getting the business ready, including preparing the space. “I wanted to get it perfect,” Jacob said.
Modern look to the store
The shop has a modern look, partly so it would be inviting to young people. Berry Chill has stools and a couch as well as tables with chairs.
The Teppers, who live in the city’s Huntington section, said young people such as their children need “comfortable places” where they can gather and spend time — for instance, after participating in youth sports activities.
Customers include principals, sports coaches and families they know to corporate executives who work a few miles away. One regular is a truck driver from New Jersey who makes sure to drop in when making deliveries to Shelton, Beth said.
Bring business experience
The Teppers are not new to small business. Jacob runs a computer repair shop nearby, called PC Services. Beth said she has a background in customer service.
Berry Chill has 18 employees, which during the summer includes the three Tepper children.
Beth and Jacob met in Boston while attending college. She grew up in Trumbull and he is from Israel.
The shop is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The hours will be reduced slightly after the summer. The shop’s phone number is 203-726-8902.
They said being in the frozen dessert business has its benefits. “People come in happy and they leave happy,” Beth said. “It’s a happy place to be. It’s contagious.”