Thursday, January 9, 2014

Stuff that you can't make up: More FroYo for the East Village



Hey now. EVG reader Malin passes along the above photo... sadly noting that the former New Amici Pizza space on Third Avenue at East 12th Street will become home to... Funkiberry.

MORE FROYO!

Per their website: "Funkiberry is the land of endless yogurt possibilities, where you rule the portions, the choices and the scene."

Perhaps this will make up for that Yogurt Crazy shop that never opened across Third Avenue.

There are two Funkiberry locations in Brooklyn.

Previously on EV Grieve:
East Village FroYo craze lives on, apparently

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the business model for all the frozen yogurt shops. They seem to open willy-nilly -- like on a block that already has several (St. Mark's) or in winter, when no one could care less. It's a money-laundering scheme, right? Like for the Korean mafia?

Anonymous said...

More frozen yogurt? How can they absorb the rent increase? What is the matter with people?! Bubble tea, yogurt, bars, coffee -- no real places to buy groceries or healthy food.

Amici is sorely missed -- they were true neighbors, open the day after Sandy, the owners went out and got a generator to help the struggling neighborhood. This news is made worse by Viva's untimely demise.

Anonymous said...

I actually like frozen yogurt (I know … it's like admitting you stand on line for hipster biscuits or think Ben Shaoul is just misunderstood. Sorry). But this is absolutely ridiculous.

Funkiberry is the land of endless yogurt possibilities, where you rule the portions, the choices and the scene.

Ruling the portions and the choices is EVERY FROYO SHOP EVER. As for ruling "the scene," what? Shut up, Funkiberry.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Finally, a yogurt shop where I can rule the scene!

olympiasepiriot said...

You rule the "scene"? What scene? Does this place come with walls that are tv like in Farenheit 451?

And why are there so many? I don't see any of them ever filled up with customers -- not like Big Gay Ice Cream or Liquiteria (ok, that's not a fro-yo, but it is a juice/smoothie bar). How the hell do they make their rent? This is a relatively cheap item, requires an expensive stock (have to keep it in perfect condition) and these store fronts are expensive!

Anonymous said...

This too shall pass.

Bowery Boogie said...

isn't this trend so 2009? wtf.

Anonymous said...

Dingleberry>Funkiberry

Anonymous said...

8:35am may actually be on to something with the money laundering thing.

A few years ago the "Rice to Riches" down on Spring Street was raided and they found $200,000 cash in the back in what clearly was a money laundering scheme. That place has a somewhat similar feel to these froyo places that simply don't make sense from a business standpoint.

If you don't have a lot of customers you can't be making the money required to pay the rent, especially in the this town.

But if the place is just a temporary front through which you run some other operation, then you don't have to pay the rent via the money from the froyo customers.

I'm going anon for this one. I might be getting to close to the truth.

sam_the_man said...

Don't know about the front hypothesis. I feel like there must be some sort 'start your own business' industry that promotes these kind of things at job fairs or in immigrant-targeted magazines or something. Or maybe it's just word-of-mouth within these communities.

Witness how these things open in clusters: korean nail salons, chinese back-rub places, bangladeshi copy shops, fro-yo, etc. I understand that business ownership confers desirable status in asian culture, so perhaps that partially explains the willingness to invest so much hard-earned family money in these marginal-at-best ventures.

Nothing wrong with entrepreneurship, of course, but I do think there's an apparatus that encourages and abets these copycat businesses.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a cheap Chinese knockoff. If I want stupid frozen yogurt, why wouldn't I at least get it from one of the original Korean places like Pinkorangemangoberryleaf? I mean they are already everywhere.

Gojira said...

Aw, no, seriously? C'mon, already! Enough!

10:56 am said...

Money laundering, much like Baked by Melissa
http://windolfcolumn.tumblr.com/post/38875899161/tiny-cupcakes

nygrump said...

Well, the quicker the idiots die from diabetes and sugar-fed cancer, the sooner the housing and job markets will open up. As William Cooper said, Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, something like that...depopulation paid for by the depopulates! Sugar and cocaine and heroin are all similar.

Anonymous said...

Has to be a front. I've never seen a customer inside the place on 2nd Ave and 7ish (the one that's not 16 handles) and somehow they manage to stay in business. I used to get depressed walking by that place, but now I'm just intrigued. If they are legit, who is financing these places?

Anonymous said...

Tasti-d-lite, Creamalita, Pinkberry, Red Mango. Each of these fro yo brands was THE BIG THING at a time in the past and customers were falling out the door. Now it's 16 Handles on 2nd - always packed. All the other places just want to get in on the action. Money laundering, maybe, but I just think it's free market supply & demand at work.

Anonymous said...

What about the one that opened recently on ave. A between 4th and 5th streets? What a weird place, clearly no business model, rarely open. It hasn't been open lately, but I couldn't tell you if it's gone for good or if those are just its incomprehensible sporadic business hours. That place seems like a front if ever there was one.

Fro-Yo In A Hoof Lover said...

Well, they're no Hoboken Hoof! What will they serve their fro yo in? Hooves? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Yes must second that comment on the place on off of 5th. And while it is not fair to judge by appearances, the one guy I see in there once in a while who seems to have some business with the place, maybe owns it don't know, really does look like an extra from the Sopranos. Just saying.

Uncle Waltie said...

"I feel like there must be some sort 'start your own business' industry that promotes these kind of things..."

The link below answers some of the questions voiced by a few posters. I have known a few Korean people who participated in such community based lending programs.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19921227&slug=1532129

Richard Bensam said...

"No coffee, no Chinese, no sushi, no burgers. That covers everything, right? I can't help but feel we're forgetting something..."

Anonymous said...

Yes, we are forgetting PIZZA.

Giovanni said...

Orange Leaf frozen yogurt has also closed on 3rd ave and 20th St, saw them removing the awnings and froyo machine at midnight last night. This is at least the fourth froyo place to close down on 3rd Avenue in the past 2 years, including Pinkberry which was once the hottest brand in the country until 16 Handles took over the market. I'd give this new place 6 months, if they don't do big business in the summer they will be done.

Sadly the 20th St. location was where a favorite corner magazine andnewsstand was located for over 30 years, only to be pushed out by higher rent and had to move to a much smaller shop across the street. Then Orange Leaf swoops in and in spite of the bright orange colors it never had any customers. It is a well packaged franchise with a pretty orange color theme that draws investors but not many customers, and now has many of its new stores closing down across the country. They missed the froyo boat.

I know a couple of former owners of these local froyo places and the story is always the same, they made a ton of money a few years ago right before the market dried up, one was doing up to $6,000/day on the weekends before the froyo market meltdown, then froyo went bust, he fired everyone, tried selling something else, then closed down. Only Tasti-D-Lite has survived due to having to long term lower rent leases.

The NY retail business model is really broken when new stores don't have time to build up a business before they are forced to close down. Your only hope now is for a sushi empire to buy you out, or to build lots of local media hype to help you sell hard stale biscuits with paltry toppings at a premium price to drunk people at midnight.

As Woody Allen once said, "These are my options?"

Douglas Quint said...

You've got some serious funkiberries going on down there- maybe you ought to hit the shower.

Anonymous said...

FunkiBacteria.

- East Villager