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Area entrepreneur Richard Nehrboss will open a frozen yogurt shop next month in the former Baja Fresh in Central Park.
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By Cathy Jett
AREA entrepreneur Richard Nehrboss was in California to sell one company when he got the idea for another.
Now he's preparing to open the first of what could be a chain of Crave self-serve frozen yogurt shops in the 3,000-square-foot former Baja Fresh in Central Park.
"It's huge in Southern California," Nehrboss said of froyo, as it's often called.
The closest example locally is the Red Mango franchise inside the new Salad Creations in Eagle Village. Customers help themselves to four types of frozen yogurt and 17 toppings, then put their containers on a scale at the cash register and pay by the ounce.
"Because people serve themselves, it helps them to feel in control," Nehrboss said.
Crave, which will open next month, will have 24 yogurts, including several tart varieties similar to those served at the popular Pinkberry chain, along with 50 to 60 toppings. Nehrboss also envisions the store as a place to hang out and use laptops.
"It will be kind of a gathering spot, a Starbucks alternative," he said.
Nehrboss, who lives in Bumpass, is behind a number of ventures in the Fredericksburg area, including the DVDs on the Run drive-through store on State Route 3 in Spotsylvania County and Encore Home Gallery and Encore TECH on Cowan Boulevard in Central Park.
"I like to make companies and sell them," he said. "I like the creation process."
DVDs on the Run, for example, was initially conceived as a concept that Nehrboss could sell to a movie-rental company such as Blockbuster, Movie Gallery or Hollywood Video, which Movie Gallery eventually bought.
His idea was to strip the business to its essentials by using drive-through bays equipped with touch-screen computers and credit-card slots. People would place their orders and a mechanical arm in the overhead storage area would find their selections and drop them down a chute in 10 seconds.
Nehrboss pitched DVDs on the Run to several movie-rental companies but never got a deal. Joe Malugen, now with post-production company Point.360 in Burbank, Calif., remembered the presentation to Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video, and called a year ago when Point.360 decided to expand into distribution.