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CUPS the Hot New Way to Cool Off in Bridgewater

Commons Way location is seventh to open for upstart frozen yogurt franchise.

The frozen yogurt revolution continues with Bridgewater’s newest addition to the game, right in time for summer.

, a relatively-new New Jersey-based yogurt franchised, officially opened its Bridgewater store on Commons Way on Friday, June 22. Although the opening is right in line with the beginning of the summer season, CUPS Director of Operations Andy Race cited perfect timing as what allowed the store to open at such a convenient time of year.

“Is it better to open up in the summer? I say yes, but the bottom line is that we’ll open up when we can,” Race said. “To try to get it opened up as early in the summer as possible, yes, we wanted to do that.”

It’s the seventh location for CUPS, with the others located in Clifton, East Hanover, Bayonne, Morristown, Paramus and East Brunswick. Two new locations—in Secaucus and South Plainfield, respectively—will open this month, while the budding franchise also looks to expand wider into New Jersey and New York.

Though still relatively small, the CUPS brand is already gaining recognition in the frozen yogurt community, which Race says is helping it to flourish in a struggling economy.

“We have a good following; people know CUPS. They know what they’re going to get when they come into CUPS. It’s the same in every store; you’re never going to find a dirty CUPS or a messed up topping bar,” Race said. “We believe in running so tight where the cast members can keep things clean and fresh.”

The atmosphere of CUPS is also a part of that brand. Popular music blares from the store’s speakers while the store’s young “cast” of employees greets and assist customers in a friendly manner, all with a backdrop of décor that is a hybrid of modern and vintage styles.

“We have a fun environment and we have an ambiance that sets us apart from some of our competitors, as well. We’re very much fun and upbeat with the music, our décor is different and we’re a little bit of an upper-class yogurt shop. It’s a clean environment,” Race said. “Our décor, our ambiance our music and the cast members really set us apart from the other yogurt shops. Everyone has yogurt; they might not all have fresh fruit, but everyone has yogurt and toppings. We set ourselves apart.”

CUPS also does this, according to Race, by serving yogurt that is all-natural and fresh, never-frozen fruit toppings, which is another point of pride for Race and his staff.

“One of the big things is we use a top of the line yogurt. It’s an excellent yogurt; it tastes like ice cream, it’s low-fat or non-fat with very low calories—only 90 calories for four ounces—we have all fresh fruit, cut fresh every day. You’re not going to see anything that’s frozen or anything that is not cut fresh,” Race said.

This branding has helped CUPS gain some positive momentum in a world where self-serve frozen yogurt shops are popping up, it seems, on a near-weekly basis. It also helps Race and everyone at CUPS be more willing to welcome the competition.

“I think, right now, that there’s plenty of room for competition. Bridgewater’s a pretty large town,” Race said. “I don’t think it’s an overflow yet; we have other yogurt shops that have a lot of other competitors around, and we still do very well.”

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