Tasty Waves re-opens under new ownership
Tasty Waves Frozen Yogurt Café in New Milford re-opened in February after a winter hiatus that left residents uncertain about the business’ future.
When the café re-opened on Valentine’s Day, it had a renewed energy and focus on community, according to Jeremy Bunblasky, whose family purchased the business from original owners Michael Terry and Michael Lewis.
Terry and Lewis had operated the business with their families since 2012.
“It’s a great community asset,” Bunblasky said, noting he and his father had talked about opening a frozen yogurt shop in the space at 7 Main St. — between Tivoli Restaurant and Nordica Toys —before Terry and Lewis launched their business.
The original store’s success is what Bunblasky wants to build on. He wants to infuse more community involvement, offer occasional entertainment and showcase local artists at the shop.
“We want to be a community-oriented business,” he said.
Ownership may have changed, but some staff remains the same, including manager John Kent and assistant manager Ian Steiner.
“Having John successfully continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the store was important to us,” Bunblasky said.
“It’s great (to be back open),” said Kent, who is in charge of making the shop’s ice cream.
The shop features eight soft-serve, self-serve frozen yogurts, including one sugar-free option, as well as sorbet (non-dairy) and ice cream.
An extensive toppings bar, featuring fruit, cookie crumbles, gummies, candy bits, cookie dough, sprinkles and much more, is available. Patrons can round out their sweet treat cup with a variety of syrups, caramel or hot fudge and whip cream.
Lydia Hyde, 9, of New Milford, said she was excited to recently try the new kiwi boba as a topping. Her sister, Alice, 7, said she appreciated the “new flavors” of frozen yogurt.
Specialty milkshakes, root beer floats and hot drinks are also popular items at the shop that features indoor and outdoor seating and offers free WiFi.
Kent rotates frozen yogurt flavors about every month or so but will change flavors up sooner if there’s a holiday or other special occasion. For example, a mint flavor was available for St. Patrick’s Day.
“We try to mix it up more,” Kent said of flavor rotation. “We don’t want it to get stagnant.”
Peanut butter, Acai berry, chocolate fudge, cookies and cream and coffee — a new flavor — were among the available flavors this week.
“It’s not too strong,” Kent said of the coffee flavor. “It’s received a lot of compliments.”
A no-sugar yellow cake frozen yogurt is also popular, he said.
Kent said he is “excited” about some of the future flavors the shop will introduce for both the frozen yogurt and ice cream.
The shop also has plans to bring back the New Orleans-style snowballs, similar to a snow cone, and Italian soda.
“It’s one of our favorite things to do,” said Justina Mann, of taking her family to Tasty Waves. “We go hang out on the Green — play on the tank — and go to Tasty Waves.”
Under new ownership, the shop has a new point of sale system. As a result, it has launched new rewards and gift card programs.
Bunblasky said old Tasty Wave gift cards — the white ones with the Tasty Waves logo — will be honored through May 20. New gift cards will replace the old ones.
In addition, the shop’s rewards program, which offers patrons a $5 discount after a certain number of points are accumulated, is new.
Patrons who participated in the former program will be recognized when they come into the business. But moving forward, they will have to sign up for the new program.
“The Terry and Lewis children were instrumental in the store’s opening success,” Bunblasky said, noting most of them have graduated and moved on to pursue careers.
“Both families deserve a lot of credit,” he said. “They did a fantastic job” with the business.
For more information, call Tasty Waves, located at 7 Main St., at 860-799-6363. The café is open Sundays through Thursdays from noon to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 9:30 p.m.