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CherryBerry self-serve yogurt bar opens in Dickinson

Lakyn Lombard, who is from Wisconsin but now lives in Dickinson, shows bobos, otherwise known as jelly poppers, to Jaden Buchmeier and Alex Anderson, both of Dickinson.

Despite temperatures hovering around 20 degrees below zero, CherryBerry Dickinson, a self-serve frozen yogurt bar, opened Thursday and had sold out of some flavors and toppings before the weekend hit and Dickinson warmed up.

"I kind of thought the weather would hold people back," Manager Mandi Bindas said. "But we were pretty busy. We had a line all the way around the store."

The shop features 21 flavors of frozen yogurt, 14 single which are carefully paired together to be swirled, creating seven more, she said.

"All the flavors match up, so if you twist it, it turns into something like -- vanilla and orange makes a dreamsicle," Bindas said.

Walk into CherryBerry and choose a size -- 16 ounce or 20 ounce -- and begin filling it with a favorite flavor. Add toppings from the dry bar, including cereal and sprinkles, and then from the wet bar where the fruit, some candy and jelly poppers are kept.

Cups are then weighed and patrons pay by the ounce -- 49 cents per ounce -- which includes the weight of all toppings and yogurt, Bindas said.

The yogurt shop features specials for many days of the week, including specials for moms of children under 5 and for college and high school students, she said.

Part of the financing for CherryBerry came from a new USDA loan program for small businesses in rural communities. The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program was launched in late 2012, Lake Agassiz Regional Development Corporation Fund Manager Randy Kingsley said.

"It serves as a gap-financing tool in many ways," he said. Eligible businesses are those that cannot obtain traditional bank financing in full or in part.

CherryBerry was the first business to take advantage of the statewide program for entrepreneurs in communities with populations less than 50,000, Kingsley said. A small business for the purposes of the loan is defined as having 10 or fewer full-time employees.

The loans can be made for up to $50,000, he said. So far LARDC, who was allotted $500,000, has used $98,000 of that for three loans.

CherryBerry pays it forward by working with groups to do fundraiser nights, where 10 to 20 percent of the profits earned during the fundraiser period goes back to the group, Bindas said.

"We just thought it would be something fun to bring to the community," she said. "This is something different from anything else in town."

CherryBerry is located at 1674 15th St. W. in Dickinson and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
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