When brothers Chuck and Manser Hapcook set out to forge a new path for themselves as small business owners, they took a good hard look around at businesses that would appeal to a wide range of people while staying true to their standards of healthy living. After doing some research and consulting with other business owners, they settled on frozen yogurt.
Manser Hapgood started his career as a hair stylist after completing cosmetology school while his brother Chuck was working in the mortgage industry as a loan officer.
"Ultimately, I was working for someone else and I was ready for a change," Manser Hapgood said. "We decided it's time to take a chance."
The two brothers began the search for something they could do together that would satisfy their desire to be their own bosses.
When their father, Charlie, was on a trip in Florida he noticed a busy frozen yogurt shop called Peachwave. It wasn't until he saw the same store in Bethel, CT, that he thought it might be something his sons would be interested in.
"We had been looking for a couple of years for the right opportunity," Charlie said. "The boys are pretty health conscious, and I thought this might be the right thing."
Once they settled on the business, the next step was to find the right location. The Hapgoods live in Longmeadow, MA, but cast a wide net to find the perfect spot to set up shop.
"Simsbury met all the qualifications we were looking for," Charlie said.
Over the weekend, the brothers held the grand opening of their very own Peachwave frozen yogurt shop in downtown Simsbury.
Chuck and Manser have been working many long days to get the store, which is located next to , up and running.
"It's been a lot of hard work and responsibility, but hopefully the work will be worth it," Manser said.
Customers are greeted by bright colors and displays inside Peachwave and are invited to step right up to a curved wall of eight self-serve frozen yogurt machines that supply 16 different flavors. One can find everything from the classics like chocolate and vanilla to flavors like root beer or cookies and cream. There's even sugar-free and lactose-free options for those with more strict dietary needs.
Once you've settled on a flavor, then it's off to the fixings bar where you can pile on fresh fruit or a variety of decadent sweet toppings ranging from chocolate chips to gummy bears.
After completing your frozen masterpiece, it's off to the register where an attendant will weigh and price your selection.
The Peachwave owners quietly opened for business on Thursday to leave time to train themselves and their 14 employees.
"We wanted to make sure we've worked out all the kinks before the grand opening," Manser said.
So far, the young entrepreneur said he's been amazed at the work ethic and drive he's seen from his young staff.
"We're all putting in a 110 percent effort, it's been great," Manser said.
The hard work has already been paying off as Simsbury residents have slowly been learning of the store's opening.
"We haven't done any real marketing yet, it's mostly been word of mouth and people stopping by when they are shopping," Charlie said.
Although this is the first business for the Hapgood brothers, Manser said one of his long-term goals is to become successful enough that he can start giving back to the community.
"If I was ever graced enough with the opportunity to be a philanthropist, that's something I've always wanted to do."
In the meantime, the main focus for Chuck and Manser Hapgood is to see that Peachwave frozen yogurt makes its mark here in Simsbury.