Resident starting premium frozen yogurt business

By Jason Harris - Staff Writer
East Hampton - posted Mon., Jan. 28, 2013
John Tuttle, owner of Abbeez, the new premium frozen yogurt bar in town. Photo by Jason Harris.
John Tuttle, owner of Abbeez, the new premium frozen yogurt bar in town. Photo by Jason Harris.

If you want to start a successful business, the experts will tell you to start with a need and then do something to fulfill it. Using that logic, John Tuttle of East Hampton plans to open a premium frozen yogurt bar in town on March 2. The business will be called Abbeez, which is named after his daughter, Abbey, he said.

Tuttle got the idea for the shop when his daughter asked the family to drive to a yogurt bar in Glastonbury in late August.

“I kind of went out there kicking and screaming,” Tuttle said about the trip to Glastonbury. He just didn’t understand why someone would drive so far from their home town to buy yogurt.

“The people were just streaming in the door,” he said. And it wasn’t a Saturday night, just a regular afternoon. Tuttle saw other people from East Hampton there and asked them why they had come. He thought perhaps they had traveled to Glastonbury to go shopping or to have lunch, but they had come only for the yogurt, he said.

“I thought, ‘My goodness, they drove probably close to 20 minutes each way,’” Tuttle recalled. “I looked at my wife and thought, ‘This is what we need in our town.’”

He received the same answers from some East Hampton children he saw at a yogurt shop he visited in Middletown. East Hampton has nothing like this, and neither does the surrounding area, Tuttle said. So he decided it would be a good idea to open a yogurt shop there.

They plan on including "fun furniture" and making the shop look inviting, bright and clean. “We are excited to bring something like this to town,” Tuttle said.

Hebron resident Cristina Kennedy is also excited that Abbeez is coming. “I frequently travel to Glastonbury with my children for frozen yogurt and it will be more convenient for us to drive to East Hampton,” Kennedy said. Kennedy appreciates that the store is close to the center of town, which will allow her to run errands while she is there.

Ground was broken on Abbeez back in December. Before that happened, Tuttle did his homework. He researched some franchises and talked to franchise business owners. “I decided it was something I wanted to do on my own,” Tuttle said.

He also did a lot of research on different yogurt flavors. “I wanted to make sure we got the best yogurts that are available, the most popular flavors, the most popular toppings,” Tuttle said. Abbeez will offer about eight flavors, 50 toppings, and a dozen sauces, Tuttle said.

Some of those toppings will include fruit, because he doesn’t want to just offer candy and other sugary toppings. Tuttle said that 60 percent of the flavors will be gluten-free, and some of the toppings will be, as well. There will also be yogurt with no sugar added, along with sugar-free toppings for diabetics. “We’re trying to stay focused on the health needs of our costumers,” Tuttle said.

The store’s website, www.abbeez.com, lists some of the flavors and toppings they will be offering. There will be small, medium and large cups, and customers can choose their own yogurts and toppings.

Tuttle and his wife, Mitzi, don’t plan on quitting their jobs, he said. He’s a regional vice president at Nathan’s Famous and she works for an insurance company. They have hired 14 people, including their daughter, to run their business, he said.

“I don’t have aspirations of owning multiple shops,” Tuttle said. “I want to do it right. I want to make sure we stay focused on the business.”

Abbeez Premium Frozen Yogurt Bar is located at 11 North Main St. in East Hampton.


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