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‘The Frozen One’ promises cool treats
It started as a casual conversation among the family.
Just a few months later, people were lined up to fill their bowls with an assortment of flavors at The Frozen One.
As owner Rob Polen explains it, he was discussing possible business ventures with his four children. A frozen-yogurt store was mentioned prominently in the conversation.
“I asked them if they were serious,” Polen said.
When they indicated they were, Polen decided to pursue the opportunity. He said they looked at several locations in Port Orchard, but settled on a 1,500-square foot space in a strip mall next to Towne Square on Mile Hill Drive because of its proximity to South Kitsap High School.
“Let’s give everyone what they want and put it where it needs to be,” Polen said. “The heart is where the kids are. (Opening here) was almost a no-brainer.”
Polen, whose daughter, Barbara, a 2002 South graduate, manages the store, said The Frozen One is a for-profit business, but that is not his main objective. He said it that were the case, his family could have opened a store in a larger community. But Polen said that was not a consideration.
“We want to make a positive impact on this community,” he said. “If we can break even (financially), I would be happy.”
That means instead of collecting tips, any money a customer donates will go to a cause. Polen said his family runs a “Christ-based” business, and last week’s tips went to help fund a mission trip for Christ the Rock Community Church.
Donations will not just benefit religious causes, though. Polen said there will be a different featured benefit each week.
He and his wife, Naomi, a former South Kitsap School District board member, have been active with schools and sports and Polen said both will be among the beneficiaries of donations, along with other community groups and causes.
“We want to directly support this community,” he said.
And serve it.
The Frozen One, which Polen said seats 50 people inside and at least another 25 on outside, features 10 different self-serve frozen-yogurt machines.
Polen said he has seen stores in large cities that have as many as 16 machines, but The Frozen One has more variety than most. The store opened June 1 and Polen said each of their offerings, which cost 40 cents per ounce, were different two weeks later.
“If someone wants something we’ll try and get it for them,” he said. “We don’t want to be like every other shop.”
When customers reach the countertop before the cash register, they can select from more than 80 toppings — a number Polen hopes to increase to 100 — that range from an assortment of candies to fruit. Perhaps the most unique offering has been slices of pie.
In addition to frozen yogurt, Polen said he also plans to begin selling smoothies in the next few weeks.
He said The Frozen One is equipped with a drive-through window, which also will open in the near future. Because of the quick turnaround – Polen said his family opened the store six weeks after obtaining their permit – he said he they did not want to overwhelm themselves and their staff immediately.
Polen, who is a homebuilder, and his subcontractors did most of the interior work, including designing all of the tables. He had a specific timetable in mind.
“We wanted to hit before high school was out and graduation,” Polen said.
The Frozen One is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. during weekdays and closes one hour later on the weekend. Polen said the store might remain open until midnight or later for high-school football games or other major events in the community.
“We’ll stay open late for special events,” he said. “We want to adapt to what the community would like us to do.”