Is Three a Crowd?

Written by admin on . Posted in News West Side Spirit.


First it was Starbucks, then banks. Now, the Upper West Side is being inundated by lower calorie frozen dessert stores. Particularly a stretch of Broadway between West 94th and 95th streets, where three options exist for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth without adding to their waistlines.

On the west side of Broadway at 95th Street sits Peaches Natural Yogurt Café, directly across from The Lite Choice (TLC). Walk over to the east side of Broadway at 94th Street and there is a Tasti-D-Lite in the middle of the block. All are Kosher and tout their low-calorie status.

“The day Tasti opened, both stores”—Tasti-D-Lite and The Lite Choice—“were offering promotions. It was like an ice cream war,” said neighborhood resident Hillel Spinner, who favors TLC and is partial to peanut butter. “It tastes almost like real ice cream, only it’s light and I’m health conscious.”

Prior to September 2008, the location where TLC now sits was a Tasti-D-Lite. According to TLC president and CEO Ron Greenstein, when Tasti-D-Lite became a franchise, he and his partner Ed Newmark decided to create their own brand of soft-serve and organic flavors, trademarking it “TLC, The Lite Choice.” A four-ounce serving ranges from 85 to 120 calories, depending on the flavor, and is low-fat, low-carb and lower calorie.

While TLC has its fans, there are still many diehard Tasti-D-Lite lovers, which is one of the reasons the company opened up a new and larger operation on West 94th Street, according to Lindsay Held, the company’s area developer for the Manhattan territory. The branch has been operating since Sept. 27.

“We plan to focus on what we do well,” Held said. “No frozen dessert brand offers the creaminess of Tasti-D-Lite. Our dairy-base mixes do not contain artificial sweeteners and it has much less than half the sugar of the leading frozen yogurt chains.”

Tasti-D-Lite’s four-ounce serving ranges from 85 and 100 calories.

Peaches Natural Yogurt Café, just a few doors away from McDonald’s on West 95th Street, has been in the area the longest; the store celebrated its year anniversary this past September. Robert Jang said he and the other four owners had been looking for a location for a while, so when this spot opened up they grabbed it. At the time, a Tasti-D-Lite was across the street (it’s now the TLC), but he said they didn’t consider it a competitor.

“It’s a different product,” Jang said. “There are no other stores close by that offer a similar product. Two in ten customers walk in and think we sell the same stuff, so we give them a sample, and if they don’t like it we send them across the street.”

Unlike the other two frozen dessert chains, which offer a wide range of flavors, Peaches offers just four: original, Euro-Tart, Green Tea and one floating selection, ranging from banana to cappuccino. A four-ounce serving ranges from 60 to 120 calories. All the flavors are non-fat with the exception of peanut butter, which is low fat.

“Our product tastes like Greek yogurt and the Europeans love it, especially our Euro-Tart and Green Tea,” Jang said.

While customers in the neighborhood seem to have strong opinions about which frozen dessert they like best, the question remains, will there be enough business to keep all three stores afloat?

The business owners seem hopeful. TLC has begun offering a successful seasonal product early—Lite Hot Chocolate—to give customers another reason to stop by. Tasti-D-Lite is rolling out new products, like hot granola and a Fruit N’ Granola Parfait. And after struggling last winter, when Jang said that Peaches was “dead,” he is hopeful that things will be different this year, especially now that the scaffolding that once hung over his store is removed. He and his partners are planning to open another store this winter on the Upper East Side.

Not everyone is so optimistic, however.

“The chances of any three similar businesses within one block staying in business in this economic environment are pretty slim,” said Jay Streich, president of Quality Living Inc., a licensed real estate broker with offices on the Upper West Side and downtown. “I’m sure one will stay open.”

Resident Sandra Carballo was equally pessimistic.

“It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t see how they can all survive,” she said. “Maybe if one of them starts selling sandwiches and soup or something. Otherwise they are just too similar.”

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  • http://TheLiteChoice.com Anonymous

    Here is the full story about The Lite Choice (“TLC”):

    Allow me to give you a little background about The Lite Choice Company. For many years, my partner, Ed Newmark, and I owned and operated seven Tasti D Lite stores in Manhattan. When Tasti D Lite became a franchise, we, along with thirty other stores, declined to become franchisees. Instead, my partner and I created our own brand of soft-serve and organic flavors and trademarked TLC, The Lite Choice.

    In September of 2008, we converted our seven Tasti D Lite stores to TLC, The Lite Choice. We licensed others, and in 8 months we grew our business to 30 locations throughout the tri-state area, including Zabar’s Cafe and Blimpies. We will soon have new locations opening in Boston, Montreal Canada, Israel and more. We license our brand name and trademark. We do not franchise.

    Our “vanilla” and “chocolate” soft-serve mixes are made from the finest all-natural ingredients and are low fat, low carb, lower calorie, and kosher. There’s NO corn syrup, artificial additives or preservatives of any kind. The Lite Choice takes it a step further and offers customers more than 40 USDA Certified Organic flavors setting TLC apart from all other brands of soft-serve frozen dessert. We leave no stone unturned to insure freshness and a healthier product, so each TLC store grinds its own fresh Peanut Butter and Almond Butter daily in our own nut grinding mills using all-natural peanuts and almonds. They are then blended into the mix to create three of our most popular flavors, Almond Butter, Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter Fudge….and it’s all-natural!

    We are the only Soft-Serve Company in NYC that does not use corn syrup, artificial sweeteners or preservatives of any kind in our mixes and in our flavors. We offer 100% all-natural and USDA Certified Organic flavors. TLC’s Soft-Serve is a healthier choice of frozen dessert and is creamy and delicious. Come in to any of our stores and taste the difference. Once you have tried it, you’ll know you have made the right choice with The Lite Choice!

    Ron Greenstein
    President/CEO
    The Lite Choice Company, Inc
    http://www.TheLiteChoice.com

  • http://TheLiteChoice.com Thelitechoice

    Here is the full story about The Lite Choice (“TLC”):

    Allow me to give you a little background about The Lite Choice Company. For many years, my partner, Ed Newmark, and I owned and operated seven Tasti D Lite stores in Manhattan. When Tasti D Lite became a franchise, we, along with thirty other stores, declined to become franchisees. Instead, my partner and I created our own brand of soft-serve and organic flavors and trademarked TLC, The Lite Choice.

    In September of 2008, we converted our seven Tasti D Lite stores to TLC, The Lite Choice. We licensed others, and in 8 months we grew our business to 30 locations throughout the tri-state area, including Zabar's Cafe and Blimpies. We will soon have new locations opening in Boston, Montreal Canada, Israel and more. We license our brand name and trademark. We do not franchise.

    Our “vanilla” and “chocolate” soft-serve mixes are made from the finest all-natural ingredients and are low fat, low carb, lower calorie, and kosher. There’s NO corn syrup, artificial additives or preservatives of any kind. The Lite Choice takes it a step further and offers customers more than 40 USDA Certified Organic flavors setting TLC apart from all other brands of soft-serve frozen dessert. We leave no stone unturned to insure freshness and a healthier product, so each TLC store grinds its own fresh Peanut Butter and Almond Butter daily in our own nut grinding mills using all-natural peanuts and almonds. They are then blended into the mix to create three of our most popular flavors, Almond Butter, Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter Fudge….and it's all-natural!

    We are the only Soft-Serve Company in NYC that does not use corn syrup, artificial sweeteners or preservatives of any kind in our mixes and in our flavors. We offer 100% all-natural and USDA Certified Organic flavors. TLC’s Soft-Serve is a healthier choice of frozen dessert and is creamy and delicious. Come in to any of our stores and taste the difference. Once you have tried it, you’ll know you have made the right choice with The Lite Choice!

    Ron Greenstein
    President/CEO
    The Lite Choice Company, Inc
    http://www.TheLiteChoice.com

  • gaia

    The idea that all three are similar is wrong. The lite choice is by far the best. is natural and has organic flavors, it is the best tasting of them all because it is the best flavors. the other yogurt taste artificial and phony. why not have a taste challenge. That will put an end to all the guessing. You will see. The lite choice will win.

  • gaia

    The idea that all three are similar is wrong. The lite choice is by far the best. is natural and has organic flavors, it is the best tasting of them all because it is the best flavors. the other yogurt taste artificial and phony. why not have a taste challenge. That will put an end to all the guessing. You will see. The lite choice will win.

  • carlos

    bahahahahhahaahha! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHA! wow, really?

  • carlos

    did they pay you to say this? bahahahha, bsolutely makes no sense, you obv have no idea or any clue why the lite choice or tasti di lite are absolytely no competition to peaches…i know, i work at peaches…and ive gone to the lite choice and bought form there and gone backk to my store haha, just to help th elite choice since they are completely empty compared to us

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