MOHEGAN LAKE, N.Y. Moni and Parul Patel have come a long way since their days delivering mail and buying diamonds, respectively.
The Jefferson Valley couple ran the Newsroom at the Jefferson Valley Mall for six years and have owned Taco Bell in the Kmart shopping center in Yorktown since 2000. Saturday, the Patels, accompanied by local elected officials and other well-wishers, cut the ribbon for their newest venture, TCBY, in Mohegan Lake.
"It's a great brand and a great town," said Moni Patel, who also will be opening Pizza Hut in an adjacent storefront within the next two weeks.
Regional Operations Manager Walter Lorenzetti said the self serve TCBY (The Country's Best Yogurt) stores have proven to be very successful, with 75 such businesses having opened during the past year throughout the country.
"Self serve is the way to be. It's done very well," Lorenzetti said. "I'm sure they'll do very well here. It fits the demographics. We wish them a lot of luck."
Moni Patel said 16 employees have been hired to work at TCBY, and between 45 and 50 will be hired to work at Pizza Hut.
"That's what it's all about," Yorktown Chamber of Commerce President Joseph Visconti said of the new jobs being created. "I think we need more of this, small franchise businesses."
Council member Terrence Murphy said TCBY and Pizza Hut coming into Yorktown is a testament to the town's economic development. "With all these different businesses opening in Yorktown, it's definitely putting us on the map," he said.
Council member Vishnu Patel, who is not related to Moni and Parul Patel, said the Patels have always been generous supporters of community groups and organizations.
"The greatness of the town is the people that are involved in the community," he said. "It's really a wonderful addition. Small businesses have more of an impact on the economy. This is very critical for the town's survival."
TCBY, located on Route 6 near CVS, is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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