Menchie's blends frozen yogurt with Federal Way economy

It may feel like businesses are closing up shop left and right, but Federal Way is still receiving applications from businesses wishing to open here.

In February, 33 new business licenses were granted by the City of Federal Way. The services these businesses offer include landscaping, flowers, printing, guardianship, video games, tanning, gardening, food and financial advice.

Parents and youngsters alike enjoyed the grand opening of Federal Way's newest treat shop Saturday.

Menchie's is a nationwide frozen yogurt franchise. This is the first store, located at 1409 S. 348th St., to open in Washington state. The grand opening brought in several hundred customers eager to load up on an array of frozen yogurt flavors and toppings. The opening was combined with a fundraiser for the police department. Anyone who donated a stuffed animal received a coupon for a free 10-ounce serving of yogurt and toppings of one's choice. Police collected 150 bears.

Elizabeth and Cameron Garner, of Puyallup, are two of four co-owners of Federal Way's Menchie's. The business is the first for the Garners, but not for their business partners, who reside in Idaho. The couple plan to open a handful of Menchie's in the Puget Sound region, but chose Federal Way to launch their first store because of the city's size, diversity and family-friendly focus, Elizabeth said.

"I think Menchie's and Federal Way are going to be great friends," she said.

The Garners picked frozen yogurt over another product because it's fun and healthy, Elizabeth said. The yogurt is lower in calories and sugar than its rival — ice cream.

"It's healthier. It's guilt-free," Elizabeth said.

The store opened about a month ago and has been well received, she said. It celebrated its grand opening Saturday. A line formed at the entrance in anticipation of the event. Once Menchie's opened, everyone packed in and quickly lined up at the frozen yogurt bar. Several guests piled multiple flavors and toppings atop one another.

Menchie's offers upwards of 100 frozen yogurt, also called fro-yo, flavors. Flavors include the traditional chocolate combinations and other less traditional tastes, such as pumpkin, pina colada tart, mounds and pistachio. Low carbohydrate, sugar-free and dairy-free selections are available. Flavors are offered on a rotating basis.

"It keeps people coming back looking for more," Elizabeth said.

Customers have approximately 50 toppings to choose among. They include sprinkles, fresh fruit, hot fudge and plenty more. Krailyn Guymon, 7, loaded up with fresh strawberries and marshmallows during her grand opening visit.

Unlike at other retail stores, customers serve themselves at the frozen yogurt store. Menchie's charges for its product by weight, not by the number of scoops or toppings. Each ounce of goodies costs 43 cents. Most customers spend between $4 and $5, Elizabeth said.

Several people that turned out to welcome Menchie's to town came with their family and stuck around a while. Mallorie, 10, Ashleigh, 7, and MaKenna Post, 4, laughed, smiled and drew on a hanging chalkboard. Meanwhile, Allison Jarvis, 4, colored a T-shirt with fabric markers.

Up on the roof, police spokesman Raymond Bunk collected teddy bears and stuffed animals with the help of a fishing pole. The items were donated by customers. Police personnel handed over coupons for a free 10-ounces of fro-yo in return for the toys, which will be given out to children visiting the police station. Police collected 150 bears, Bunk said.

Though the Garner's reside in Puyallup, Elizabeth is getting accustomed to Federal Way.

"I'm discovering Federal Way," she said. "I really like the city; It has a lot to offer."

Learn more

Visit the Menchie's Web site at for more information. To learn more about partnering with the yogurt shop to conduct a fundraiser, visit Menchie's at 1409 S. 348th St. or e-mail

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