After months of vacancy, one empty storefront in the Chatham Mall is filled and open for business.
To celebrate the opening of their first store, IYO: The Frozen Experience will have a two-day celebration Saturday and Sunday for area residents.
Mark Weisberg is one of six owners of the new business. "We're going to have face painters, balloons, a DJ," Weisberg said of the grand opening. "It's going to be a lot of fun."
Even with Hurricane Sandy looming, Weisberg said the party will keep going rain or shine.
The store sent a coupon for $1 frozen yogurts to every home in Madison, Chatham and Green Village, good for each of their 24 frozen yogurt flavors and over 60 toppings, including sugar-free options. Sure to be favorites among the toppings are "Chatham High School Sprinkles" (blue and white sprinkles) and "Madison High School Cookie Dough" (red and gold cookie dough.)
Weisberg and his partners hope the party Saturday and Sunday will help spread the word that the store is open for business.
"We actually opened two weeks ago Saturday," Weisberg said, "but all our big advertising goes out this week."
Flavors include pumpkin pie ("We're getting ready for the holidays," Weisberg said of that flavor), orange sherbert, espresso, chocolate mint cookie, strawberry sensation and sea salt caramel pretzel, the latter of which, Weisberg said, is one of the most popular flavors.
So far, Weisberg said, the store's busiest time has been after school. People come in after dinner, too, but he's also hoping to draw in business for breakfast time.
"We're going to have Belgian waffles [and] smoothies," Weisberg said. "I don't want to be like everybody else."
The store's decor is certainly unique, all in teal and white with high-backed couches and colored ottomans lit in changing colors, all of which can be controled by a remote.
"Yeah, those are a kid favorite," Weisberg said.
IYO is also getting involved with the community by donating a portion of sales in a given week to schools in Madison and Chatham. The recent fundraiser for Chatham Middle School went to help staff members raise funds to run in the Leukemia and Lymphoma race in Philadelphia in November.
They will also participate in the Chatham Township Works shopping night, currently scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at Hickory Tree Square and the Chatham Mall.
Other co-owners of IYO are Weisberg's wife Pamela, Tommy Loconte, Paul Panzarino, Cindy Malonchak and Doug Vagell.
IYO: The Frozen Experience also offers Slushys, a full coffee and espresso bar and wheat grass shots. It is located at 650 Shunpike Rd. in Chatham Township within the Chatham Mall, and is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.