Fans of the Red Mango Yogurt & Smoothies chain now have their own spot to get their fix in the Somerset Hills and Warren area, with the opening of a new shop at Riverwalk Center off Martinsville Road in Basking Ridge.
The shop, located next door to the Riverwalk satellite of the has been open since last Saturday, and had a slow but steady stream of customers early on Friday afternoon.
The shop at 665 Martinsville Road in Riverwalk has the same owners as Red Mango shops in Summit, Millburn and Long Branch. David Rothberg, co-owner with his wife, Jen, said that Basking Ridge at the original Summit shop had been asking when he was planning to open a Red Mango in Basking Ridge.
"We made it here eventually — we love the center," he said on Friday, as he and his wife chatted with customers.
Rothberg — and Red Mango in general — point to healthy ingredients in a menu that offers self-serve frozen yogurt, smoothies, coffee chillers and fresh fruit parfaits.
Rothberg said that Red Mango's frozen yogurt is "100 percent natural, fat free and gluten-free."
And if that may not be on the mind of customers serving themselves with chocolate and Red Velvet flavors — along with somewhat less decadent sounding flavors such as vanilla, peach, and pomegranate — another advantage is that cups of soft frozen yogurt can be filled with as much, or as little, as desired, at 49 cents per ounce.
That price also applies to a toppings bar with 41 toppings, along with syrups to top your individualized dish. It also translated into a $2.99 cost for a small dish about two-thirds filled with a mix of multiple flavors and topped with chunks of strawberry, raspberries — and of course a dollop of chocolate chips and cookie dough chips.
The toppings bar also offers some unusual toppings, such as mochi, tiny Japanese rice cakes.
Rothberg said some people have been coming over from the Somerset Hills YMCA's Riverwalk facility for what Red Mango advertises as "mealworthy smoothies," at $5.75, which include some more protein-packed ingredients such as peanut butter and yogurt along with fruit. For an extra 75 cents, customers can add extra protein or "immunity" boosts.
One woman talking to Jen Rothberg said she had been coming in every day since the shop opened.
Hours at the shop are from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Saturday, and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, said manager Luis Tatis, who said he had previously managed the Rothbergs' Summit and Millburn shops.
In response to one question from a customer, Rothberg said there were 38 Red Mango franchised shops when he opened his first Red Mango in Summit about a year and a half ago. Now, he said, the Dallas-based company has over 200 shops nationwide.
A sign advertising that Red Mango was coming had been in a storefront window at the Riverwalk Mall since earlier this summer, but the pace for construction picked up mid-month.