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Yohielo in Albany

April 16, 2015

by Rachel Salasky

Yohielo located at 319 Ontario Street Albany, NY 12208.

Yohielo located at 319 Ontario Street Albany, NY 12208.

The Shi family recently bought the old Bros Tacos building at Morris and Ontario streets and turned it into a  frozen yogurt shop. The new colorful corner at this popular intersection is home to Yohielo, and is located in a neighborhood of families and college students.

Bros Tacos stood for seven years at the corner of the Pine Hills intersection.

The owner of Bros Tacos sold 319 Ontario St. last  July for $160,000. Qi Dong Shi bought the two story building which consists of the fro yo shop and a two bedroom apartment upstairs. The Shis were unable to answer questions directly so their 11-year-old daughter, Tina, translated.

The Shis bought the property on July 2, 2014 from the Adam Daniels, the owner of Bros Tacos. Paul Fontane, Realtor with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties said Daniels wanted to move due to the changing nature of the neighborhood. Fontane represented Daniels in the sale of Bros Tacos. Adam Daniel’s previously owned Bros Tacos with his brother Josh until he took sole proprietorship on June 26, 2014.

Yohielo is a part of a chain of frozen yogurt shops. The Shis do not use social media or flyers for advertising.

Matt McLaren, 20, had conversations with the Shi’s while they were doing construction. McLaren lives next door to Yohielo and says he goes to get fro yo often.

“I’ve had pineapple and chocolate, the cups are usually three to four dollars but you get a lot,” said McLaren. When they first opened, Yohielo had erratic hours.  Recently they have begun to open later at night and McLaren thinks that will draw them more business especially for the college students in the area that want something sweet when they are out late.

Tina Shi, 11, is a sixth grader at  Hackett Middle School and  help at the shop after school  with her parents.  She has a bright smile as she stands at the register to greet and rings up customers. “Ours is 39 cents an ounce, lower than shops at Colonie,” said Tina. She likes working there because “it’s simple.” Business picks up in the evenings.

The building was erected in 1900 and has had many owners since. Daniels told realtor Paul Fontane “they were moving in with relatives and planed to relocate Bros Tacos somewhere in another part of the country,” said Fontane. Initially, Fontane thought the property would be turned into a laundromat.

“It’s a great location close to campus, with prices just right for college kids,”  McLaren said.-30-

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