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Frozen yogurt shop opens on Monroe Center

September 23, 2012
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The Piccione family opened a new business last week.

Rosa Piccione, her brother, Mario, and his wife, Lidia, recently debuted Sweet Yo’s, a new frozen-yogurt shop in a stylishly decorated storefront at 134 Monroe Center near Rosa Parks Circle and the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

“We work well together. We make a great team,” said Rosa Piccione, who owns Rosa’s Closet in East Grand Rapids and co-owns Lia Rose with Gina VanGessel at 40 Monroe Center.

The downtown Sweet Yo’s is primarily a carbon copy of the yogurt shop Mario and Lidia opened in July at 2180 Wealthy St. SE in East Grand Rapids, which they said was an instant success. The couple also owns Uccello’s restaurant in Caledonia and co-own the Uccello’s in Grandville.

Sweet Yo’s offers 18 flavors of frozen yogurt in four types, all of which are wheat and gluten free, and more than 50 toppings that range from candies to dry cereals to chocolates to freshly cut fruit.

Customers put together their own combinations and then “weigh and pay” at 49 cents per ounce. The store seats 30 inside and 16 outside.

“We feel our concept is more community based. The business will be popular with those living and working downtown, as well as families exploring downtown in search of a treat,” said Rosa Piccione. “Sweet Yo’s will be an ideal spot for enjoying the downtown surroundings.”

Mario and Lidia Piccione first came across the self-serve frozen yogurt concept for Sweet Yo’s during a trip to California. Then Rosa Piccione made the same discovery on an April visit to Naples, Fla.

The Picciones are hiring 10 new employees for the shop and plan to have up to 20 working there during ArtPrize to serve what is expected to be larger-than-normal crowds. They eventually plan to also offer homemade Italian cookies made from authentic Sicilian recipes.

City officials, including Mayor George Heartwell, greeted the Picciones last week.

“The community is excited to welcome the Piccione family and their new business to downtown Grand Rapids. Their investment will help expand downtown’s wide array of dining offerings and help further activate a critical downtown retail artery,” said Kristopher Larson, Downtown Development Authority executive director.

Sweet Yo’s is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. During ArtPrize, though, the shop will stay open until 11 p.m.

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