Grant Orndorff, left, and wife Stacy are founders of Swirl, a self-serve frozen yogurt shop at Publix Plaza in Leesburg. Customers dispense their own yogurt and toppings, which are sold by weight.
LEESBURG -- Monday was the second day of life for Swirl, the new yogurt shop at Publix Plaza, and according to co-founder and owner, Grant Orndorff, traffic was "steady."
"We planned a 'soft' opening to begin with," Orndorff said. "We'll advertise and have a grand opening in two or three weeks."
Swirl is unusual among yogurt establishments as their product is self-dispensed and sold by weight. The customer mixes flavors and buys only what he or she wants.
A variety of toppings is available from candy to fresh fruit, nuts and raisins. It also helps keep price and payroll low, Orndorff said.
Orndorff and his wife Stacy had been thinking about starting the shop for "quite a while," they said. Along with doing basic research they found a couple of similar shops to visit during a recent vacation. Two of the nearest are in Pensacola Beach, Fla., and Dothan, Ala., Orndorff said. In the end, the Orndorffs "saw no advantage," in buying an established franchise, so all their equipment is generic. According to Orndorff, the Swirl name has no association with any other yogurt shops.
Orndorff is no newcomer to the food business, with nearly five years experience as general manager for Stewbo's restaurant group. The Stewbo's group includes Harvest Moon, The Catch, and Henry Campbell's Steakhouse, and is owned by Bo Henry and Stewart Campbell.
"It's worked out just as we planned," Orndorff said. "Bo and Stewart are in complete support of what I'm doing and are giving me the time I need to get things running until I can get a manager."
Stacy Orndorff said she plans to put as much time as she can into the Lee County shop while still caring for their two children.