Retail buzz: Frozen yogurt shop to open in Chestnut Hill

Although the possibility of having a Rita’s Italian Ice in Chestnut Hill is gone for now, neighborhood residents will still see their fair share of cool treats—both literally and figuratively.

Chestnut Hill will soon have two new additions to its business district. Another long-time store is also making a move up the Hill.

Cool treats coming to the neighborhood

Two Chestnut Hill moms decided to treat locals to something they’ve been sharing with their children for years—frozen yogurt.

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Leslie Newbold said co-owner Alison Shoemaker scooped up the idea for Chill on the Hill after taking trips with her children to Manayunk for the frozen treat and realizing that it’d be nice to have something closer by.

Newbold said she hopes to open the store—which will be located in the old Balance Chesnut Hill building at 5 E. Highland Ave. – by Aug. 1.

The store will sell frozen yogurt self-serve style for 49 cents an ounce and mostly offer up organic fruits for toppings.

The store will also have a children’s play area as well.

Also joining the Avenue will be Greendesign—a treat to those who think green.

The eco-goods store—which will be located at 8434 Germantown Ave.— is scheduled to hit the Hill in mid-May.

The store will be owner Tim McNulty’s second location. He’s owned a store in Princetown, N.J. for the past four years.

“Almost from the moment of opening, we got a good amount of people that are coming up from Philadelphia,” he said. “One of the comments I’ve been getting is ‘wow this is a great store. Why not locate in Philadelphia?'”

After looking into locations to plant his next store, McNulty decided Chestnut Hill would be perfect.

“One of the things I find with this business and people purchasing [is that] there’s a big knowledge jump that happens when you have people who are very supportive and have kids,” he said. “People who are generally green minded have kids and become super green-minded.”

And McNulty said he feels that fits Chestnut Hill’s population.

“It seems like it’s that type of area,” he said.

Greendesign will sell everything ranging from recycled products to organic materials—one of the most popular items being an organic latex mattress.

Moving on up the Hill

O’Doodle’s will be switching locations after 15 years come late May.

The toy store, which has been located at 8335 Germantown Ave. since its creation in 1997, will be moving near the top of the hill to 8532 Germantown Ave.

In addition to the move, O’Doodle’s will start carrying a slightly larger variety of products.

“We listen to our customers and they said ‘we can’t buy in Chestnut Hill, little baby goodies and baby clothes and baby gifts,” said storeowner Fran O’Donnell. “We felt the need to bring in that product next, as well as keep the best of the toys we currently stock.”

This isn’t the first time O’Donnell—and his family—has changed their store’s game plan.

In 1954, Fran’s father, Henry O’Donnell Sr., opened O’Donnell’s Stationary. But when Staples was introduced to the Hill in the early 90s, business started to fizzle out.

That’s around the time the family started playing with the idea of opening a toy store.

Throughout the years, the O’Donnell family snagged various properties in Chestnut Hill—the new store’s location included.

The family sold the current location to Bowman Properties in January.

The new store, O’Donnell said, will have a little bit less space—by about 2,000 square-feet—but is a better location to do business.

“It’s a corner property and it’s much better than being in line,” he said. “It’ll be farther up the hill and closer to Children of America.”

O’Donnell said he thinks the new stock will continue his family’s evolving business.

“That’s really what the market demands right now,” he said. “I think the new mix actually lends itself better than this one here.”

O’Donnell said he plans to have a moving sale before the switch.

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