New yogurt shop to open off Topsy Lane |

New yogurt shop to open off Topsy Lane

by John Seelmeyer
Northern Nevada Business Weekly

In the first act of his career, Bill Grebitus built one of the largest privately held options-trading firms in the United States, a 150-employee organization with operations in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.

In the second act, he’s opening frozen yogurt shops in northern Nevada, having a great time as he works with store designers, scouts real estate and conducts taste tests, one after another. This time, he’s going to have fun.

Grebitus teamed with food industry veteran Chris McCabe to found Mmmmm Yogurt, which opened its first store at 1610 Robb Drive in Reno this month.

A second store in the Carson Valley Plaza, 963 Topsy Lane, Suite 318, is projected for a mid-November opening, the company plans a third in Spanish Springs, and it’s considering south-Reno locations for a fourth to open in mid-2011.

“This whole project is about having fun,” says Grebitus.

And it’s a long move from the frenetic world of options trading, which Grebitus entered as a floor broker and market maker before he became one of the founders of Group One Trading LP.

He retired from the company about seven years ago and moved to northern Nevada – first to Incline Village, then to Reno. About 18 months ago, he joined forces with McCabe and began development of the Mmmmm Yogurt concept – seeking to carve a position in the crowded frozen-yogurt sector with stores that deliver big variety.

Each location will include eight self-serve frozen yogurt makers, allowing delivery of 16 flavors, along with 75 choices of toppings.

Flavors, McCabe says, will lean toward what he calls “tart-o-mania” – consumers’ growing fondness for tastes that bring a pucker.

Grebitus personally oversaw design of the stores, including grass-style flooring, liquid fusion tabletops and mushroom cap chairs.

But the most important element in the store, the founders say, will be the attitude of the two or three employees who are working each shift, as the energy and joy they bring to their work sets the tone.

And the company’s ability to replicate that spirit across multiple locations, Grebitus says, will be the most important element in deciding whether Mmmmm Yogurt ultimately expands beyond its home base in northern Nevada.

“Our challenge,” he says, “will be keeping this fun.”