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FreeStyle Yogurt opens downtown Friday

FreeStyle Yogurt opens Friday at 529 Second St. (corner of Second and Locust streets). Customers build their own sundaes with frozen yogurt and a choice of 50 toppings. Photo by Doug Stohlberg

FreeStyle Yogurt is coming to downtown Hudson. The new business is scheduled to open Friday, Oct. 26 at 529 Second St.

The business is unique in the fact that customers dish up their own bowl of frozen yogurt, selecting from 14 flavors, and choose from 50 different toppings. The price is determined by the weight of the total package.

Owner Dave Brandner is excited about bringing the free-style dessert to the Hudson area.

"The customers can pick from as many flavors of yogurt they want and as many toppings as they want," Brandner said.

He said the shop will always have 14 flavors on hand, but will rotate up to 85 flavors in and out of the shop during the year. The store will also carry at least one flavor of sorbet for people who are intolerant of dairy products.

"We will always have 10 core flavors, but will rotate the others," he said. The toppings include a wide variety of items, including candy, nuts, syrups, fruit fruits and more.

Once the customer has made his or her selections, the bowl is weighed and the cost is 45 cents per ounce.

"Unless the customer wants to have some fun," Brandner said. "We have a wheel -- like a Wheel of Fortune -- by the cash register which offers slots with prices ranging from 40 to 48 cents. The wheel also includes a 29 cent slot and a free slot."

If customers select to spin the wheel, they have a nine out of 12 chance of paying less than 45 cents. For the non-adventurous, however, the price will be 45 cents per ounce.

Brandner, 38, grew up in Medford and graduated from Marquette University with a degree in public relations and marketing. He moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area after college and went to work in the restaurant and retail consulting business.

"I was first introduced to the free style yogurt business on a trip to California in 2007," Brandner said. "I didn't think I'd like yogurt, but soon discovered it was very tasty. Also it has a third of the calories of ice cream, half the sugar content and is cholesterol free. It was healthy, tasted great and I liked making my own sundae."

Brandner moved to St. Paul in September 2011 and opened his first FreeStyle Yogurt in January 2012. In fact, he was recently awarded the distinction of being named the "Best Frozen Yogurt" in the "Best of Cities Edition of Minnesota Monthly." He signed the lease for his Hudson location July 1, 2012, and began construction on the site in early September.

"My mother lives in Hudson and I love visiting here and love the vitality of the community," Brandner said. "The downtown is active -- we've got the park, The Phipps, restaurants and much more."

His new location is completely remodeled with plenty of seating. He said one of his goals is to keep it a "media-free zone."

"I want it to be family-friendly and be a fun experience," Brandner said. "I see that at my St. Paul location -- families sit and talk, no one is watching TV. He also plans to work with local organizations and help various causes by donating 10 percent of total sales on certain nights to the participating groups.

The Hudson store will employ two full-time employees and 10 part-time employees. Store hours are noon to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information call (715) 808-0840 or go to

The entrepreneur is plenty busy right now, with another FreeStyle Yogurt scheduled to open in Roseville on Nov. 7.