Sun | Apr 30, 2017

Tutti Frutti heading to Manor Centre with juice bar, smoothies in Kingston expansion

Published:Tuesday | June 2, 2015 | 6:03 PMTameka Gordon

Frozen yogurt treat shop Tutti Frutti Jamaica is expanding to the Manor Park area and will set up two locations at the Manor Centre shopping complex in July under a $50 million investment.

The company is also set to open a another location at Sovereign Centre by August, franchise operator Peter Azar told Wednesday Business, but would not say whether the $50m investment also covers the Sovereign store.

Azar already operates two shops at Barbican Centre in Kingston and Fairview Shopping Centre in Montego Bay. However, the expansion will grow Tutti Frutti locations to four - not five - as Azar describes both Manor Centre locations as "one business with two locations in the same mall". Both will employ about 30 people.

One of the Manor Centre outlets will be a juice bar and smoothie shop. Azar is adding frozen fruit smoothies to the menu board to keep pace with the international brand owner, Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt, but as a pilot to test receptivity in the Jamaican market.

If the smoothie takes off it will be introduced in the other stores, he said.

The international company has come out with a full line of frozen yogurt fruit smoothies. "They are much healthier," the franchise operator said, describing the treat as similar to a yogurt shake with fruits.

At 2,000 square feet, the juice and smoothie shop will be almost double the size of the other Manor Centre store, which will be roughly 1,200 square feet.

The operations of the two shops will be seamless, with the frozen yogurt outlet producing the treats that will be sent across to the juice and smoothie bar for sale.

Azar said the juice and smoothie bar will feature open-air seating for about 40 persons, with plans to dedicate a smaller section for hosting birthday parties and other private events.

"It's a store, and then there is an outdoor piazza or eating area centred around a smoothie bar," Azar said.

The outlet will also open late to cater to the users of the 24-hour Express Fitness gym at the plaza. Additionally, Azar expects the new bowling alley on the plaza, JAMZONE, will pull business to his shop.

"We are investing in Manor Centre. Along with the new image that is going to be created now with the bowling alley and the other people to follow, it's going to be like an entertainment and dining location instead of just stores. It's now going to be a fun mall because there is more to come," Azar said.

Tutti Frutti Jamaica is part of the family-owned LP Azar Group. The flagship store at Barbican Centre opened for business in 2013, while the second store opened in Montego Bay last year.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com