Sunday, February 14, 2010

Students excited about South End Market & Spoon It Up

Just this past week, south of the BYU campus and on the corner of 700 East and 820 North, students began to explore the grand opening of brand new grocery and frozen yogurt combination: South End Market and Spoon it Up, a joint venture, owned by Zach Scholer & Ray Landry. The two entrepreneurs, best friends from Las Vegas, looked to off-campus students when it came to deciding their plans for the acquired business space next to J-Dawgs. “Most of this business was designed by college students,” Zach Scholer says. Market research was implemented through Facebook, polls, and talking to people heading up to campus. “We heard some students over the summer saying it’d be cool if there was a grocery store over here,” continues Zach. Both explain how it’s continuously been an evolving process; with the original plan including only a grocery store and Subway, a student asked Ray Landry, “Are you guys doin’ frozen yogurt?” and the idea evolved. 

From a South End Market perspective, Zach describes their goal of managing a store that’s 50% grocery and 50% convenience, “a convenient store with grocery store prices,” he says, and essentially their items include just that. From fresh bread and donuts made by the Provo Bakery, to essentials like milk, butter, and eggs, they even carry produce, household basics, and of course, candy bars. Asked about competition from the Creamery on Ninth, Zach responds, “We’d love to be as popular as the Creamery,” putting emphasis on their desire to be more of a compliment to them than competition, “we’re not here to compete,” he says. Both Zach and Ray stress that South End Market is a store especially for students without cars who need to buy groceries or pick up something quick at low prices, and their goal is to keep those prices comparable to Macy’s. Besides your grocery basics though, South End Market has a lot more to offer with both a deli and Subway counter and of course frozen yogurt from Spoon It Up in the back.

A second location opening soon at the Plum Tree Center on University Parkway, Spoon It Up is not just another frozen yogurt place as Ray Landry lists off it’s many features including 24 flavors, free wi-fi, flat screen tvs, and high quality yogurt. “We’ve got one of, if not the best product out there,” he says, not to mention his great enthusiasm for the tons of upcoming events, and discounts he further describes. Zach adds, “We’re coming up with new, innovative ways to serve frozen yogurt that are going to blow people away,” as Ray drops an addition of Belgian waffles? Well, you’ll just have to stop by to check that out soon. Being one of the only frozen yogurt places just south of campus, Zach and Ray have a lot of faith and enthusiasm for the future of Spoon It Up too.

So what do students think of South End Market and Spoon It Up? “I love it! It’s so close, it’s a walk away!” exclaims Jake Hyer. Trevor Rivera, amazed, states, “Some of the produce was cheaper, which really surprised me. Even their cereal was the same price like you’d pay at Walmart.” Mo Lee finds it to be “really clean and the price is reasonable.” “The people are way nice, says Kara Grenfell, “everyone who works there is way into helping out and making sure your shopping is going well.” Even a student who’s yet to shop, Corinne Olsen, is already impressed: “I hear their customer service is really great, my friends went down there this past week and decided that they’ll go to that subway before the Cougareat.” Chris Rostrom’s first impressions of Spoon It Up left him anticipating, “I think it’s gonna be a better deal, they’re trying to make it into a place where people wanna hang out, so it might just be kinda a fun place to be.” Anna Woods ate at Spoon It Up for a second time last night: “…it was really good, they have a lot of interesting flavors that not a lot of places have.”

The future looks pretty bright for South End Market and Spoon It Up, and Zach and Ray will be working hard to support that forecast. With still open ears to the ideas and opinions of students all around Provo, Zach and Ray will continue to develop and improve their business of providing low-priced groceries and quality frozen yogurt to South End off-campus students, and the best part is, in the words of student, Daniel De Gaston, “It’s so flippin’ convenient!”

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