Chobani Opens First Retail Store
Chobani, the Greek-style yogurt maker, has just opened its first brick-and-mortar retail location in New York City's posh SoHo neighborhood.
Could this be the first of more to come?
"We don't have any specific plans for a second store or how fast will there be a national rollout--we really just got started, and we're still tweaking and learning," says Chobani's director of retail operations, Dar Vasseghi. Up until this week, the New York--based company sold prepackaged yogurts through grocers.
The new shop sells an array of sweet and savory fresh, chilled yogurt options (under $4 per bowl). The location will act as a sort of testing site for new flavor concoctions. On opening day, the most popular flavor was a pistachio and chocolate, which includes fresh yogurt from the New York yogurt plant, as well as honey, oranges, and mint leaves.
A notable savory option was plain yogurt and olive oil, which includes salt and pepper and comes with a serving of pita chips.
"Our customers are always interested in offering us new ideas, and have over the years," says Vasseghi, who notes that the shop's menu of flavors will also change with the seasons.
Along with bowls of yogurt, Chobani SoHo, as it's called, also sells pistachios, olive oil, honey, and fresh fruit. Of course, customers can also purchase prepackaged Chobani yogurts.
Founded in 2005, Chobani started in an abandoned factory in upstate New York. The company claims its 2011 revenue was more than $600 million. Vasseghi says he is unconcerned with competition from Fage and even PepsiCo, which will reportedly soon to enter the same space.
"We are the No. 1 yogurt brand in the country, so I would say we will compete pretty effectively," Vasseghi says.