A new dessert option will make its way to the neighborhood, hopefully,
before the year’s end as early as Wednesday, February 3!
Fondren Fro-Yo is the tasty brainchild of Glo Design Studio’s Anthony Ritter. The shop is being built out in a space Ritter has long rented under the hill in the Woodland Hills Shopping Center.
Ritter said he was approached a few months back by Fondren Renaissance Executive Director Jim Wilkirson who was interested in helping him fill his empty storefront. “Jim had a fun idea about something that would bring more families in,” Ritter explained (it was Pop Culture, who ultimately located in The Capri).
With interest from dry cleaners for a drop off and pick up, architecture firms and other small offices, Ritter thought that none of those things added to the retail foot traffic of the neighborhood. “And they certainly didn’t add anything fun,” he noted. “I wanted something that would be yet another great reason to come to Fondren every day.”
But why frozen yogurt? Ritter said he’s noticed the suburbs have plenty of self-serve yogurt but there are none in Jackson. But another serendipitous moment lead to the decision as well. “I think I willed (frozen yogurt) into my universe because I connected with Laurie Dahlam (who owned the now closed Millie D’s in Belhaven),” he explained. “With her moving on to another chapter in her life, it was a light bulb moment.”
Dahlam trained Ritter and sold her equipment to him as well and will continue to show him the ins and outs of the business, all the way through the shop’s first days. He said, “it’s good for her, for me and for Fondren.”
The space is small and just how many flavors and toppings will be offered remains to be seen. One thing Ritter will say is that the cool spot, complete with its own dedicated parking, is being built with one demographic in mind. “It’ll be hip — but for kids. That’s who I’m building this to cater to.”
And so then, the big question is when do we get our first taste of cookies and crÃ¨me with Reeses Peanut Butter cups and hot fudge (a personal favorite)? “I have a date in mind of what I would like, but I don’t know if it’s based in reality,” Ritter laughed. “I’d love to get it opened the week of Fondren Unwrapped (November 19). If I don’t, then I’ll wait until January.” The decorator, who is always busy during the last part of the year laughs and asks, “why would I add that stress at the holidays?”
Ritter’s design business at GLO is very much alive, atop the hill next to Fondren Cellars at 663 Duling Avenue. Ritter says he has hired a full time manager to oversee the frozen yogurt shop.
This story was updated on January 28 to reflect Ritter’s hoped-for opening date.