Cindy Lou's Frozen Yogurt opens in Springville
Animated favorite Cindy Lou Who from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is near and dear to Cindy Santonocito’s heart, because that little girl changed the Springville resident’s mind about the name her parents gave her.
Although Santonocito said that she was embarrassed to tell her classmates what her full name was, Dr. Seuss saved the day and the animation of the Christmas classic endeared Santonocito to her moniker – and led to the naming of Springville’s first self-serve frozen yogurt shop, Cindy Lou’s.
[photo2[John and Cindy Santonocito said they were content in their jobs, working with special needs adults (John) and children as a teacher’s aide (Cindy) when they visited family in North Carolina last year. But when Cindy Santonocito’s sister Arlene brought the couple to one of her favorite haunts, Feeney’s Frozen Yogurt Bar, things changed.
“We thought it was a great idea and we hadn’t seen anything like it around here,” John Santonocito said, so he decided to open up a frozen yogurt shop in Springville.
After several conversations with Springville Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer Michael Kaleta, who was “very supportive” of the idea, the Santonocitos turned to the Small Business Development Center at Buffalo State College for help with their business plan.
Joanne Ely of M&T Bank’s Springville branch then stepped in to help with the financial end of the business and “was huge in getting us finances and support,” John Santonocito said. His wife added, “She made it work because she said she wanted this business for the community. She thought it would be a good thing for Springville.”
The new business owners said they felt the same way. “We did this for Springville,” Santonocito said, gesturing around the newly-painted purple and green shop. “That was my motivation. Our first objective is to provide wonderful service. We want people to want to come here.”
After nearly a year of planning, Cindy Lou’s Frozen Yogurt opened at 231 South Cascade Drive on Aug. 2.
The shop sells exclusively Honey Hill’s frozen yogurt, because that company offers the only frozen yogurt that retains the “good bacteria” through the freezing process.
The Honey Hill corporation originally distributed its products in solely Arkansas, but thanks to the Santonocitos’ efforts, is now being carried in upstate New York by Perry’s Ice Cream© and served in Rochester frozen yogurt shops.
The Santonocitos have taken their lactose-intolerant and diabetic customers into account and said they will always offer at least one sorbet and one no-sugar-added flavor.
Payment is calculated by weight, so customers can add as much or as little to their dessert as they wish. “You can make it healthy or not,” Santonocito said. “It’s all you.”
The Santonocitos’ four children, Sherry, John, Jessica and Melissa, all live in town and will be helping out at the shop, which John Santonocito Sr. said he hopes will provide a fun, family atmosphere to the community. “Someone will always be here to say hello and show people what to do,” he said. “I want people to feel like they’re family. We will always make people feel welcome here.”
Cindy Lou’s summer hours will be 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., seven days per week. Although the Santonocitos said they anticipate cutting their hours back somewhat during the colder months, the shop will still be open year-round.
Cindy Lou’s opened for business Aug. 2. The shop is located at 231 South Cascade Drive in Springville. Weekly frozen yogurt flavors and other updates will be posted online regularly at www.cindylousfrozenyogurt.com.