Sweet CeCe’s becomes a sweet success in Morristown
Sweet CeCe’s co-owners Jeff Hurst, holding scissors, and his wife, Janice Hurst, at his left, lead the celebration during the May 13 Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting, along with Roni Snyder, Morristown Chamber Chair, at Hurst’s right, and co-owner Dr. Brad Johnson at her right. Also celebrating are Morristown Chamber ambassadors.
Just a short time opened and not yet into its peak season, Sweet CeCe’s Yogurt & Sweet Treats in Morristown is considered a successful business venture by its owners.
“We’ve been welcomed by the community more than we could ever anticipated. It’s been a pure blessing from God,” co-owner Dr. Brad Johnson said.
The store opened on April 8 in Sherwood Commons, located on East Morris Blvd., across from the Hamblen County Schools central office building. Although Johnson and his partners, Jeff and Janice Hurst, had planned for a soft opening, the quickly gathering crowds of wide-eyed children and adults had other plans.
The expectations for the store’s early retail sales were soon adjusted.
“It’s been three times more than any of us expected. We’ve had a great turnout, a great response from the town. We have been blessed,” Jeff Hurst said.
Customers serve themselves at the store, moving from station to station to fill cups with various flavors of yogurt, then adding dry toppings, fresh fruit toppings, or both.
Although the Morristown Sweet CeCe’s is part of a 30-store franchise, the store has a unique perspective on unit sales.
“We were the first CeCe’s to start charging by the cup,” Janice Hurst said. “All the others charge by ounce.”
“Fill it up as much as you want, we do not weigh it,” Jeff Hurst said “You can enjoy a nice, healthy cup of yogurt, with a little bit of sweet on top.”
In addition to yogurt, the Morristown store offers non-dairy sorbet and no-sugar-added yogurt.
“We have 12 different flavors and the middle machines swirl, so it’s actually 18 flavors in total,” Janice Hurst said.
According to Jeff Hurst, current flavors are changed out with new flavors, at least two every week, according to customer requests.
The dry toppings include yogurt bites, M&Ms, Skittles and coconut, along with cereal mixes. The fresh bar includes strawberries and blueberries, etc., along with hot chocolate and caramel toppings.
The good financial numbers may be attributed to the outdoor seating that is available at the Morristown CeCe’s. The store is currently open until 11 p.m., with the option of remaining open later during the summer.
“We’ll do it by the demand of the public,” Johnson said. “If they want later hours, that’s what we’re going do. I think it’s a great spot to relax, especially during evenings after the sun goes down and between innings at the ballpark (Popkin Field).”
“There’s just something about being outside,” Jeff Hurst said.
-By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer