You may have seen one at Roosevelt Field Mall, or driven by another in Rockville Centre, or even stopped in the Merrick store. Now Red Mango has been spotted in Long Beach, too.
The frozen yogurt shop, which touts itself as "all-natural," will hold a grand opening at its new location, at 32 E. Park Ave., from 12 to 4 p.m. on April 14, when customers can indulge free yogurt, and meet 98.3 K-Joy DJs and spin the prize wheel for freebies like t-shirts.
Actually, the Long Beach store open its doors for business on March 8, becoming one of about 200 stores nationwide, and will compete with the likes of TCBY in the East End and Tutti Frutti, which opened last year also in the middle of town.
“People are comparing us to our competitors and telling us that it’s lighter on the stomach,” said Shanwn Keswani, manager of Red Mango in Long Beach.
He explained Red Mango’s “all natural” label to mean that no sugars or syrups are added to their yogurts and smoothies, and he noted that the shop uses the probiotic GanedenBC30.
The store makes up to 60 flavors of yogurt, ranging from original plain to white peach to peanut butter — and, of course, mango. Strawberry Banana has already turned into a favorite smoothie among patrons, Keswani said.
The store also features a row of self-serve stations, where patrons can fill their cups with frozen yogurt at 49 cents an ounce. The Long Beach store employs 16 people, many from Long Beach and Oceanside, said Keswani, who lives in West Hempstead.
In fact, the Long Beach store's owner, Scott Buda, is an Oceanside resident. It is Buda’s first Red Mango franchise and he plans to open a second store in Hewlett come September. Long Beach's dining environment made it a desirable location, he said. “There’s so many restaurants in Long Beach, and a lot of people going out to eat want an all natural desert,” said Buda, who is a pharmacist.
Of course, that Long Beach is a beach town weighed heavily in the decision to open a store on East Park Avenue just a half block from the train station. “There’s an influx of people in Long Beach during the summer time and during the hot months people want to have something refreshing like a frozen yogurt,” Buda said.
Daniel Kim, who moved to California to study business in Berkley, established Red Mango in his native South Korea. He opened the first store in the states in Los Angeles in 2003.