Jeff and Nancy Gonder hope their new northeast Raleigh yogurt shop will turn into a community destination for birthday parties, school spirit nights, craft evenings and more.
Flying Froyo, a self-serve yogurt shop, opened in November and offers a rotating list of frozen yogurts and toppings, along with smoothies. Craft nights, with free activities for all ages, are scheduled monthly. Birthday party packages are available.
A corner of the shop is painted in chalkboard paint so kids can stay busy after the treat is eaten. There are even a couple of airplane seats, which were used in the 2011 movie "Bridemaids," that you can sit in.
Jeff Gonder tells me there are plans for more activities and events. He'd like to work with local schools for spirit nights and nonprofits to help them raise money to support their programs.
"We're really hoping to have a local hangout," he said.
The couple, who are parents to one little boy, moved to the Triangle from New Jersey just as the nation's economy began to tank. They both found jobs, but Jeff Gonder, a high school teacher by training, got caught up in teacher cutbacks a few years ago. He lost his job at a local high school and eventually went into sales.
The idea of owning his own business had always appealed to Gonder. He hooked up with a business development company, which has helped him do everything from get the equipment he needed for the business to apply for the needed permits and approvals.
Gonder came up with the concept for Flying Froyo, a nod to North Carolina's "First in Flight' slogan.
"Welcome aboard Flying Froyo," he greets customers. "Do you have any pre-flight questions?" he asks as they peruse the offerings. Gonder's two-year-old son has been known to greet customers from those airplane seats too.
"This has been a blast," he said. "I've wanted to do this for so long. Now to have the opportunity is just amazing."
Flying Froyo is at 2930 Forestville Rd., Raleigh. It's open noon to 9 p.m., daily.
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