MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Eloise would have a field day.
Frannie’s Goodie Shop is opening an upscale branch at Manhattan's Plaza Hotel on Sunday. YoArt at The Plaza Food Hall takes Frannie’s Goodie Shops’ trademarked YoArt frozen yogurt and launches it on a more sophisticated scale.
In 2010, celebrity chef Todd English, best known for Boston restaurant Olives and for his show on the Food Network, opened the Todd English Food Hall on the Plaza's concourse level. Starting Wednesday, a number of high-end boutique food shops, restaurants, bars and confectioneries were added to the gourmet food court, bringing the kiosk count to 20.
Owner Frannie Albanese said a representative of El-Ad Properties, which owns the Plaza, happened to come into her shop while visiting a Mount Kisco resident and was “very impressed with the store," especially the customer service.
He decided to visit the Main Street shop a second time to see if he would receive the same top-notch treatment, and he did, Albanese said.
“This location here is really bright and cheery and a very visual experience,” said employee Christine Caruso, who has worked at the shop since August. At the Plaza, she said, it will be all mahogany and stainless steel, streamlined and elegant.
The difference between the two shops, Albanese said, is a local, small-town feel versus a boutique feel.
“Frannie’s encompasses more than just yogurt, because I also sell coffee, tea, baked goods and confections here,” Albanese said. The Plaza boutique will just be yogurt and toppings under the YoArt name, with the same official slogan: “Create your own masterpiece!”
Frannie, a lifelong Mount Kisco resident, and her husband, Isi, who emigrated from Italy when he was 10, have already worked out how they will manage two frozen yogurt shops.
“I have some people coming down to help out that I already have employed, but I did hire a couple more managers and some staff that live (in the city),” said Frannie Albanese, who also owns another business on Main Street in Mount Kisco, Bellizzi, the pizza restaurant and arcade. “But my husband and I will be doing a lot of the managing at the beginning.”
Each of the food hall's new kiosks was asked to create a signature product to be sold exclusively at the Plaza Hotel location.
Albanese said she decided to name a yogurt flavor "Eloise's Strawberry," after the kooky, lovable 6-year-old with the wild imagination who, in the classic children's book, lives with her English nanny and turtle as a permanent resident of the hotel.
“She’s a pink lover, so we figured strawberry,” Albanese said. “We also have all sorts of toppings like 'strictly pink sprinkles' ” and pink M&M-like candies.