Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt opens on Coventry
On Saturday, March 23, the first all-organic frozen yogurt shop in Ohio, Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt, opened its doors at the site of the Grog Shop’s first Coventry Village location, just south of Mayfield Road. Brothers Cosmin (Cos) and Adrian Bota, first-generation Americans, chose Coventry for its combination of pedestrian-friendly streets, vibrant storefronts and eclectic neighbors.
“I like the idea of people walking up to the business,” said Adrian. “It reminds me of New York City. I like the diversity here. I said to my brother, ‘let’s do something where people are enjoying community and the arts—let’s be part of urban renewal.'”
Piccadilly, a whimsical name with an international flair, offers healthy, all-organic yogurt. The brothers have sourced all of the flavorings and toppings locally, but they had to go out of state, for now at least, for the yogurt itself. “Only two people in the U.S. are making organic [frozen] yogurt,” said Adrian. “We will be the only one in Ohio to offer yogurt with no artificial flavoring, no dyes for coloring, and all natural ingredients.”
Yogurt flavors will include double-Dutch chocolate, old-fashioned vanilla, and fruits, such as strawberry, mango, banana and pomegranate. Two vegan flavors, blueberry and creamy coconut, will round out the initial offerings. “All of the machines will also offer a swirl option—a mix of the two flavors,” said Cos. “We’ll bring in new flavors monthly and offer fresh, local, seasonal fruit such as strawberries and blueberries. We will also have an assortment of chocolates—dark, milk, chocolate bars—and nuts, cereals and candy. We’ll also feature local artisan creations including chocolates and baked goods, such as croissants, red velvet cake, cupcakes and pies.”
The commitment to local sources extends to the store furnishings. The Botas have worked with students from the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), and other companies, such as A Piece of Cleveland, to uniquely outfit the business with reclaimed wood from the Cleveland area. Pieces of a wooden roller coaster from Geauga Lake have become side tables. Doors left over from the original Grog Shop have become tables. CIA students designed benches out of discarded wooden pallets.
The brothers plan to continue their partnership with CIA. “We’d like to have a space in the store where student works and goods made by local artists can be displayed and sold,” said Adrian.
Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun and marketing manager for the Coventry Village Special Improvement District, said he was glad building owner Michael Montlack was patient and waited for the right business to fill the former Grog Shop space. “Adrian and Cos are a great fit for Coventry—repurposed furniture, vegan yogurt, locally owned and operated. I’m looking forward to having them here.”
Piccadilly will be the first restaurant on Coventry to offer sidewalk seating. The city granted a permit for 25 tables, but the brothers say they will likely start with 10 or 15.
Starting a new business can be a big risk, but it pales in comparison to the one the brothers’ parents took when they brought the family to America. Cos and Adrian fled across the border of Communist Romania in the dead of night with their father and three younger siblings when they were eight and seven years old, respectively. A harrowing two-year journey through prison and refugee camps led them to Cleveland, where they reunited with their mother. They became citizens as soon as they were eligible.
“I’m very proud to be an American,” said Cos, “If we don’t succeed, it means we didn’t try hard enough. When I think about being an entrepreneur, I think, ‘you’re in America. Why not?’”
Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt
1767 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights
Mon.–Thurs.: 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Fri.–Sat.: 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Sun: 1–9 p.m.
Kendra Dean is a graduate student at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and is currently an intern at FutureHeights.