January 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM
SUMMIT, NJ - Self-serve frozen yogurt is becoming quite popular, with its variety of flavors and numerous toppings, but 16 Handles stands out from the crowd.
The company originated in New York City and is bringing its trendiness to Summit in February.
Warren resident Farrah Bhalloo grew up in London and moved to America eight years ago. She and her family are very close and are all business oriented.
A year and a half ago, her older sister opened Pancheros Mexican Grill in Bedminster, which has been successful. When Farrah graduated college in 2011, she wanted to be part of the family business, and felt opening a 16 Handles would be a great fit for her bubbly personality.
She first experienced 16 Handles when she visited her sister at New York University a few years ago and went to to their store in the East Village.
“She took us there and I was blown away,” Bhalloo said.
The delicious self-serve frozen yogurt, scrumptious toppings, friendly service, music and ambiance were exciting, she said. She quickly realized this was the type of business she could see herself working in. Her father helped her research the company and found it is a fast-growing franchise.
“This is something I saw myself doing,” she said. “I wanted to do something a little different.”
They found their first 16 Handles location at 88 Summit Avenue in Summit, which Bhalloo thinks is perfect, and they are opening a second location at Rutgers University on the Livingston Campus in Piscataway in April.
Bhalloo said she and her family are excited for their opening and believe the business will have a big impact on downtown Summit.
“We feel that it is a fun, upbeat and safe place for students to hang out," she said. "I wish there was a 16 Handles when I was growing up! It’s not just about frozen yogurt, it’s about the experience. It’s really amazing. I feel like 16 Handles really fits with the trendiness of Summit.”
Bhalloo said they offer gourmet toppings, make frozen yogurt cakes, and have a chef who creates specialized savory/sweet toppings which they will be offering in their store very soon. They also are an environmentally friendly store, using cornstarch spoons and biodegradable cups, and recycling whenever possible. They also partner with Trees for the Future; every 16 Handles location helps plant 16 trees every day.
“We’re not just another frozen yogurt place, we’re in the frozen dessert business,” Bhalloo said. “I want customers to come in, have fun and enjoy the atmosphere. I hope Summit will love 16 Handles as much as I do!”