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East County Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009 8 years ago

SunniBunni scoops up Ranch Lake Plaza spot

by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

SARASOTA COUNTY — Shortly after moving to Florida three years ago from California, Sarasota resident Alex Vain Wie realized the Sunshine State was missing one vital component.

Sure, Florida was bursting with sunshine, palm trees and sandy beaches, but it lacked one important ingredient — frozen yogurt

“When I moved here, yogurt was one thing that was really missing,” Vain Wie said.

After doing some research on the industry, Vain Wie, with the support of her husband, Vic, opened SunniBunni Frozen Yogurt and Organic Fruit Smoothies in Tampa in the spring of 2008.

“In California, these types of yogurt shops had just come out,” Vain Wie said. “I proceeded to do some due diligence, so that I could provide the best yogurt and best organic fruit possible.”

That Thanksgiving, Vain Wie opened a second SunniBunni location in Sarasota, and now more than a year after she first founded SunniBunni, Vain Wie is bringing the shop’s famous all natural frozen yogurt to the East County.

The new shop is located in Ranch Lake Plaza off State Road 70 in the space once occupied by Cool Taste. Vain Wie said the shop will open as soon as inspections are completed.

“We’re ready to go,” Vain Wie said. “We could open as early as tomorrow or in the next (few) weeks.”

The East County SunniBunni location will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12-6 p.m. on Sunday.

Vain Wie calls SunniBunni a "10-minute spa for your tummy.” The business offers all natural frozen yogurt, fresh organic fruit and dry toppings.

“It’s considered one of the five things that you should eat every day,” Vain Wie said of yogurt.

SunniBunni offers authentic yogurt with more than 400 million live cultures per gram of yogurt. Additionally, Vain Wie gets all of her fruit from Global Organics in Sarasota, providing customers with seasonal fresh fruit on a daily basis.

Original frozen yogurt, offered seven days a week is the shop’s most popular flavor. Additionally, SunniBunni offers MegaBunni, Green Tea, BunniBerri and chocolate flavors on a rotating basis throughout the week.

SunniBunni also has been recognized for its wide selection of organic fruit smoothies, including PB&J Bunni, IslandBunni and DirtiBunni, among others.

“They’re all like children,” Vain Wie said of the flavors. “They all have beautiful features.”

After spending 15 years as a financial adviser, Vain Wie left the corporate world behind when the couple moved to Florida in 2006.

Two years later, Vain Wie, who has a mathematics degree from the University of California — Los Angeles, decided to follow her dream and open her own business.

“I really enjoy the creative process — just being able to start an entity from nothing and watch it (transform) to something recognizable and very special,” Vain Wie said.

Eventually, Vain Wie would like to open another location on Siesta Key and by the end of the year said she would begin offering SunniBunni franchises with the hopes of expanding the company throughout the southeastern United States.

“I think part of what has made SunniBunni so successful is our very high level of customer service,” Vain Wie said. “Our success is based on customers referring their friends to us. The value of someone’s word carries more meaning.”

Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].

SunniBunni Frozen Yogurt
ADDRESS: 8758 S.R. 70 E., Ranch Lake Plaza

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