Sweet Sunshine Dawns in Willow Creek
By RHONDA BIGOVICH, Two Rivers Tribune
James ‘Chief’ Jennings and his wife Caroline Jennings held the grand opening of their new Willow Creek restaurant, Sunshine Frozen Yogurt, during Big Foot Days.
“I would ride my bike to this little frozen yogurt shop, when my family and I would go visit in New Port,” James Jennings said. “I would buy yogurt from there by the quart.”
When Caroline decided to go back to work, jobs were hard to find in the area, so she thought why not start their own business?
“We wanted to start a business that wouldn’t compete with other restaurants in town,” she said.
The Jennings’ researched the Yogurt industry and decided to go with a dry mix yogurt blend from a company by the name of Don Per.
They picked an all-inclusive package that included two frozen yogurt machines, a topping table, and a large freezer.
“The yogurt blend offers micro-encapsulated pro-bionics,” Caroline Jennings said. “It comes in a non-sugar blend, made with Stevia a leading sugar substitute.”
This is a crowd favorite, and gives people with diabetes or those who chose not to eat sugar a chance to enjoy this delightful treat.
“I think we opened at a good time,” Caroline Jennings said. “We’re busy on the weekends and when the children get off the bus, we stay steady.”
Keeping employees has been tough. However, Jennings feels its best she and her husband work until they get a firm grasp on running the business day-to-day.
“This has been a great learning period,” Caroline Jennings said. “Our short term goal is to pay off our business loan.”
Whitson’s Plumbing and Electric came and did all of electric rewiring, and James Jennings did all the remodeling, and fencing himself.
“I used to be a stonemason, and a carpenter,” he said. “I’m flexible, if I can do that, I can surely do this.”
The couple plans to replace the parking space with an outside patio, build an awning, and put in Astroturf.
They have patio furniture already and have even bigger ideas for the next summer.
“In the next three weeks we plan to add hot dogs and chili to the menu,” Caroline Jennings said.
“Right now we have 80 different flavors to work with,” James Jennings said. “I love seeing the kids come in and enjoy the yogurt.”