All day long Monday, kids and young families popped their heads into Silver Spring Drive's new frozen yogurt business: "Are you open?"
After , Sweet Frog franchise operator and former Green Bay Packers fullback William Henderson was finally able to open his doors and start serving frozen yogurt in the space previously occupied by What's Poppin' at 404 E. Silver Spring Dr.
Henderson opened his first Sweet Frog franchise in Plover, near Stevens Point, about a month ago. He also plans to launch a store in Brookfield's Sendik's Towne Centre in October, as well as another location in DePere. Henderson said he plans to open eight locations in Wisconsin and Illinois by February.
Henderson chose Silver Spring Drive because it reminds him of Sweet Frog's first location on Cary Street in Richmond, VA — the town he now calls home.
"We've got cafes, shops, nice strolling sidewalks and people are out walking and enjoying everything there is to offer," he said. "This is a healthy option that matches that kind of active lifestyle."
Sweet Frog offers 16 frozen yogurt flavors ranging from cappucino to strawberry kiwi. Most flavors are fat-free, gluten-free, high in protein and low in sodium. After you tap your frozen yogurt, you can choose from a variety of candies and fresh fruits at the toppings bar and then weigh out your cup at the cash register.
The interior decor is kid-friendly, with pastel pink and green adorning the walls and cloud-like light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. The shop also plans on offering four or five tables outside on the sidewalk.
Since leaving the Packers five years ago, Henderson has worked in the residential and commercial real estate industry, as well as with Bimbo Bakeries.
"I've been trying to create jobs and help the community — not only my local community in Virginia, but also the Wisconsin community as well," he said.
Although Henderson lives in Richmond with his wife and two kids, he said he comes back to Wisconsin often, and he is currently looking at a condo or a home in the Milwaukee area.
Henderson said he works with 140 different charities in Wisconsin, some of which were started by former Green Bay Packers stars like Gilbert Brown, Santana Dotson and Ahman Green. He said some of those Packers may stop by the Whitefish Bay store to support the business.
The "frog" in the business name stands for "fully rely on God." Henderson said the store does not try to push religious values on customers, but Christianity does play a role in its focus on charity and giving back to the community.
"We're trying our best to be a part of the community," he said. "We want to reach out to schools, churches, senior homes and community organizations, and if they're having a fundraiser, we can be a conduit for them. We want to be used for the sake of benefiting the community."
Sweet Frog started in 2009 on the East Coast, and the company plans to have 100 Sweet Frog stores operating in over 15 states by the end of the year, according to the company website.
If you visit the Whitefish Bay location, you may occasionally catch No. 33 behind the counter serving up fro yo. He said he's still an avid Packers fan, and he plans to help the team out on an organizational level this year.
So, how does he think the Pack is going to do this year?
"I'll just tell you I already have my room booked for New Orleans," he said, referring to the site of the next Super Bowl.
Sweet Frog is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The store's phone number is (414) 967-1900.