Happily eating his cotton-candy-flavored frozen yogurt topped with blueberries, strawberries and Gummy Bears, Harry Ihnat, 3, was too busy to speak. But his parents were thrilled about the new Peachwave Frozen Yogurt that just opened at University Mall in Fairfax.
“We’re excited,” said mom Andrea Ihnat. “We’ve been anticipating this since winter, when we first heard they were opening. I got the piña colada flavor – pineapple Dole Whip twisted together with coconut frozen yogurt. It’s really low-calorie, but delicious. I’d absolutely recommend this place because I like the variety of flavors and toppings.”
Husband Ben said Peachwave also does “a very good job of being sanitary. When you go in, they give you hand sanitizer and gloves; then you grab your own bowl and fill it. Then you put it on a tray and tell them what toppings you want. They don’t touch the bowl, and it makes you feel safer.”
They were there for the recent grand opening of the first Peachwave in the mid-Atlantic. Based in Oklahoma, there are more than 100 stores in the U.S., Canada and the Grand Caymans. The Fairfax store is tucked behind Taco Bamba and Dunkin’ Donuts, at 10631 Braddock Road, and co-owner David Waskiewicz hopes to open another three in Virginia in the next five years.
“My family and I live next to the mall and already shopped here,” he said. “I wanted to open up a Peachwave; so when I saw a spot available to lease here, I jumped on it. We originally planned a May opening, but COVID delayed it.
“Where I live, you have to drive four miles for ice cream, so I researched opportunities in the ice cream realm. I liked that Peachwave is family-centric with a community-forward message. They don’t take any of my profits; I just buy my inventory from them. So I have more money to give back to the community and help my business.”
THE NEW STORE has more than 150 flavors of frozen yogurt, made with nonfat milk and 100-percent fat-free. Nothing comes in frozen; fresh milk and fruit arrive daily, and the product is made on site. There are 16 rotating flavors of gelato, as well – such as salted caramel and pistachio – made with 1-percent milk.
Another highlight is the Dole Whip – just like at Disneyworld, in varieties including pineapple, orange, lemon and pomegranate. Similar in texture to sorbet, it’s vegan and dairy- and gluten-free. Customers may also create their own smoothies and shakes by layering their favorite frozen yogurt or gelato flavors and having the staff add fresh fruit and blend it into a refreshing drink.
Or they can enjoy their yogurt or gelato in a freshly made waffle bowl or cone, atop crêpes or adorned with homemade whipped cream and toppings such as chopped candy bars, crunchy cereal, cookies, fruit, mochi and edible cookie dough.
At the grand opening, Aria Kapar, 7, enjoyed cotton candy frozen yogurt topped with whipped cream, Oreo cookies, M&Ms and Gummy Worms. “It’s super sweet and good, and you can get the toppings you want,” she said. “I’m so happy, now that this is here.”
“In a time when so many businesses are closing due to COVID, I’m glad to be opening,” said Waskiewicz. “My father always wanted to open a business, but he passed away 10 years ago, before getting to, so I’m happy to do this for both of us.”
HIS WIFE, Hanh, is co-owner and store manager. “I’m excited that we have our own business – it’s a dream come true,” she said. “Business has been good since our earlier, soft opening, and we’ve gotten good reviews from the customers.”
Just ask the Armstrong family. Mom Stacy loved her Oreos and cookies-and-cream frozen yogurt mix with blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries on top. “The fruit is fresh, and the frozen yogurt is delicious,” she said. Daughter Amanda, 14, said she really liked her frozen yogurt, which she’d covered with whipped cream, cherries, chocolate chips and cookie dough.
And dad Aaron enjoyed his frozen yogurt mix of cheesecake and strawberry flavors. “The flavors taste more natural than other frozen yogurts,” he explained. “And I’d also recommend it because it has more variety.”
There for the celebration, as well, was Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Rose, who presented the owners with a plaque. “I’m so excited for David and Hanh,” she said. “And it’s nice to celebrate some good news in the City.”