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Pictures of colorful frozen yogurt treats and a flat-screen TV adorn the walls, while a soundtrack plays cheerful music, creating a bright and positive atmosphere in the newest business in Oldtown Salinas

"It's eye-appealing," said customer Matt McDougall as he drank a smoothie. "It's a nice addition to Oldtown."

TCBY Beriyo, next to Maya Cinemas, opened its doors Dec. 28 after nearly two years of planning and construction, owner Jeff Lamb said Wednesday. The franchise store offers fat-free frozen yogurt and smoothies made with fresh fruit, fruit juice and frozen yogurt.

Lamb wanted the store to attract kids and a younger crowd, so he included the flat screen TV, loud music and free wireless Internet.

The opening of TCBY Beriyo cost more than $342,000 and is the first store of the franchise chain in Northern California, Lamb said.

But the Salinas store won't be the last one in Monterey County. Lamb said he plans to open three more stores in the Monterey-Salinas area in the next two years.

"I always wanted to open a yogurt shop," he said. "And Salinas had the right weather for it."

TCBY Beriyo has been well received by the community, he said.

The store has about 200 customers daily during the week and almost a 1,000 on the weekends, said Anthony Lamb, owner/manager and Jeff Lamb's son.

"Everybody is thinking healthy nowadays," Anthony said. "We couldn't lose with this idea or the location."

The yogurt shop has been welcomed not only because of what it sells but also because of its location.

Angel Garibaldo, 21, of Marina, works near the shop and during his break he walks there to buy a smoothie.

Part of the reason he goes is because it is within a walking distance of his job.

Anthony Lamb said having the shop on Main Street along with all the other lively businesses in the area brings his dream a step closer: He wants Salinas to have a street similar to Alvarado Street in Monterey. Pedestrian-friendly Alvarado offers a variety of stores and restaurants to browse in an architecturally interesting environment.

Aside from that, both Lambs said they just wanted to open a good place for a sweet treat.

"A lot of people like ice cream, but then they feel guilty about eating it," Anthony said. "We have a treat that you can eat and not feel guilty about it."

Source: The Salinas Californian

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