Red Mango celebrates grand opening with free frozen yogurt
Chocolate sauce, Fruity Pebbles, yogurt chips and a selection of fruit from mango to kiwi are only some of the topping options at the new Red Mango Frozen Yogurt and Smoothies, located at 98 Albany St. in New Brunswick.
Po Wong, co-owner of the new store, said the store sells frozen yogurt, smoothies and parfaits healthier than those at other frozen yogurt establishments.
Red Mango has been open for a month, but it had its grand opening ceremony on Saturday, where the owners offered free frozen yogurt hoping to attract new regulars.
One New Brunswick resident, Jacob Lepiarz, said he and his friend stumbled upon the store by chance. He was surprised at the quality of the food.
“We were going to go to Jamba Juice, but the taxi dropped us off across the street from here and we decided to check it out,” he said.
Wong said he chose to open a Red Mango because he wanted to do something to help the New Brunswick community.
“I lived in California, and Red Mango was booming over there,” he said. “I think it now has the potential to grow. I picked here because there are more younger people, especially young women, who have more knowledge regarding healthy food.”
He said Red Mango frozen yogurt is better because it uses natural ingredients and live probiotics, and is delivered to the store weekly rather than kept long-term in a fridge.
Co-owner Shau-Ning Lee-Wong said she wanted to see people using their frozen yogurt not as a dessert or a treat, but as a meal substitute.
“Rather than something greasy, they can come in here and have something good,” she said.
Frozen yogurt has more advantages to it than the average ice cream, said Lauren Pompey, membership counselor at the Robert Wood Johnson Fitness and Wellness Center.
“We are proud supporters of healthier options like Red Mango,” she said. “The toppings are fresh and there’s more variety.”
Many center members live in the area, so it’s convenient for them to stop by the store, she said.
Another local, Judy Kolva, said she went at first because of a coupon in the mail but came back because she liked the peanut butter and Nutella flavors.
“The most dangerous part is that it’s right down the street from where I work,” she said.
She said she enjoys boba, which are small, juice-filled capsules of tapioca that are available as a topping.
“I love how they have these interesting toppings, it makes this place an excellent addition to New Brunswick,” she said.
The work environment at the store for the last month has been fun and easy, said Sharon Chung, an employee.
“My friend knew the owners, so I decided to apply online,” said Chung, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. “They’re very flexible.”
She said despite working with the yogurt all day, she still enjoys the various flavors.
“I come here when I don’t have work,” she said.
Managing to balance the store and other needs is a challenge for both the owners. Shau-Ning Lee-Wong said she works the regular hours and comes back late at night for closing.
“I’m here all day,” she said. “I prep the food in the morning, and then I control all the day-to-day issues we have.”
Po Wong said he works as an accountant in Manhattan full-time while still coming to the store regularly.
“It’s tough to find a way to balance my life and my work,” he said. “I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day.”
He said he hopes to attract a lot of students looking for a comfortable place to study. The store offers free Wi-Fi and power for laptops.
“Some students like Starbucks, but some of them say it’s too dim,” he said. “This place is bright and clean. They’re welcome to stay as long as they like.”