Couple plan to open their third frozen yoghurt shop in Belfast
A young couple are expanding their frozen yoghurt business across Belfast with a new store in the south of the city, it can be revealed.
Harry Wang and Katie Waddell are expanding their already successful east Belfast US-inspired yoghurt concept, Spoon Street, into the Lisburn Road.
They will take over the former Marks & Spencer food store on the road, which closed in 2014 and moved to a larger location at the former Co-op.
The pair already have an outlet in Ballyhackamore and last year launched their second at Ann Street in the city centre.
The couple met when Katie was on a gap year for work experience in New Jersey.
There she met businessman Harry Wang and the pair soon transplanted the US concept of self-serve frozen yoghurt across the Atlantic, setting up shop in the Ballyhackamore area of east Belfast in October 2014.
The concept is already a hit with customers who get to pour their own so-called 'froyo', with a selection of different flavours and toppings.
Plans for the new store have been submitted, but it's understood that the business is still at an early stage of development.
Speaking about the business ahead of the opening of the Ann Street store, Ms Waddell had said interest in their product had been "phenomenal" and she's hoping for similar feedback at their soon to open city centre location.
"It's been great, and a lot better than we had initially thought. There was nothing else like it in Northern Ireland. We are hitting this one with a bang and are going above and beyond," she said.
"With Spoon Street we wanted to create a fun factor and atmosphere around the product and business."
While Spoon Street has had a successful two years in Belfast, other frozen yoghurt businesses haven't fared as well.
Yogland had been based close to the former Majestic Cinema, across from Tesco, but has now closed its doors. It's an international franchise business, with outlets in the UK, California, Dubai and Colombia.
It's been replaced by a pop-up healthy eating restaurant.
Salad is the new business from chain Slim's Healthy Kitchen.
Slim's, founded by Gary McIldowney, will at first operate its latest venture as a temporary 'pop-up' salad cafe on south Belfast's Lisburn Road.
The unit had been home to Mr McIldowney's frozen yoghurt business.
Mr McIldowney said: "Salads are a massive part of our lunchtime offering at the restaurants and the pop-up will cater for people who don't have the luxury of time to enjoy the sit-in experience."
The pop-up at 214 Lisburn Road will also deliver to premises in south Belfast.
Salad will sell 11 salads made on the premises, as well as offering a 'build your own' option.
The venture in Belfast is following in the footsteps of Dublin-based healthy eating chain Chopped, which specialises in salads.