Story and Photo: Samantha Magee/Miramichi Leader
MIRAMICHI — Yogurt fans will have a new place to enjoy their treat of choice this spring when Gojis Frozen Yogurt opens in Douglastown.
Joey Graham and her husband Glen Cameron are the new franchisees of the 10th store in the frozen yogurt chain and they’ll be opening their doors in late April.
“The economy is starting to get stronger and we think it’s time to do something like this and we are looking forward to it,” said Graham, who is originally from Miramichi.
She has lived in Ontario, the western provinces and Nova Scotia but returned home to Miramichi in 2000 where she now resides with Cameron in Loggieville.
“Miramichi was always part of me, it’s where my family is from and it’s home. It’s a nice place to raise a family,” said Graham, a teacher at North and South Esk Regional.
She’s taken a leave of absence to pursue her business venture.
She said the couple has been looking around for some time for a franchise they felt Miramichi could support and she said she believes that Gojis Frozen Yogurt will do well here.
Goji’s is a New Brunswick-based franchise and Graham said she feels “the Miramichi market is ready for change,” referring to some new franchise stores coming soon to the river.
“There are a few new businesses opening,” said Graham, referring to Pita Pit, Winners and a Giant Tiger, all opening in the spring.
The Gojis will be located in Bridgeview Plaza in Douglastown and celebrating their grand opening sometime in May. The 1,500 square foot store will be positioned in what is now a vacant space next to the CIBC bank.
Graham said being positioned near two, large department stores wasn’t planned but she is looking forward to getting some extra traffic because of it.
“We picked the perfect spot,” she said, in reference to the fact Gojis will be next to Winners and Giant Tiger.
Right now the couple is busy getting together their necessary equipment and decorating still has to be done. All Gojis stores adhere to the same look, brightly coloured in lime green and bright orange with a modern boutique feel.
“It’s going to look exactly like the one in Moncton,” said Graham.
Gojis is the brainchild of Moncton sisters Janette Zacharias and Carol Wirsz, according to the chain’s website.
The chain was initially launched in 2012 with the sisters drawing inspiration from frozen yogurt stands they saw while on a vacation to Florida the year before.
“One of the things that sets Goji’s apart from other frozen yogurts is that it’s made from premium ingredients and packed with live and active cultures,” said Carol Wirsz in a news release. “In every ounce serving, there are 100 million probiotics – friendly bacteria that promote good health. Goji’s is nutritious and delicious.”
In addition to Miramichi, other stores are located in Moncton, Dieppe, Halifax, Riverview, Shediac, Amherst (in the works), Bedford, N.S., Charlottetown, P.E.I. and Kelowna, B.C.
“We also like Gojis because its healthy. There’s lots of different options like you can go sugar-free or lactose-free or even gluten-free,” said Graham, who believes customers are considering their health more and more when they go out to eat.
She said her long-term goal is to get the business up and running, get accustomed to things and return to her teaching position once the business is stable.
Graham and Cameron will be looking to hire about a dozen staff members, she said.
Look for the Gojis Miramichi on Facebook for more hiring information.