Two former road construction workers with thoughts of enjoying a cool treat surrounded by Hawaiian music and hula dancers will see their dream become reality this weekend in Richland.
Saturday marks the grand opening of Maui's Apple, a frozen yogurt shop in Washington Plaza in Richland.
There will be free samples -- 18 flavors to choose from -- available all day. And from 7 to 9 p.m., Tri-City Hawaiian dance group Hoaloha Mele will provide live music and dancing to complement the shop's island theme.
Store owners Craig Firkins of Richland and Kevin Stevens of Kennewick selected their theme long before they knew a Hawaiian band lived in the Tri-Cities.
"One of the gals we interviewed told us she was Hawaiian," Stevens said. "She said her dad's full-blooded Hawaiian and plays in a Hawaiian band. It turns out there are a lot of Hawaiians in the Tri-Cities and many of them are part of this dance group.
"We just had to hire them for our grand opening," he said.
Owning a frozen yogurt shop is a big change for Stevens and Firkins. They have a background in highway construction but sought a career change.
"We decided to jump on the national frozen yogurt fad," Stevens said. "It seems like it's one of the few businesses that's been doing very well over the last year."
They traveled extensively across the country researching frozen yogurt stores.
"We noticed all the successful shops had some type of berry or fruit in their name," Stevens said. "We wanted a Hawaiian theme so thought, 'Maui is known for gold pineapples, why not Maui's Apple?' "
They chose cheerful colors and added a large tiki umbrella.
"Even when it's rainy and cloudy outside, it's warm and sunny in here," Stevens said.
Maui's Apple plans to rotate flavors weekly. One always will be without added sugar and another will be dairy-free.
Hours run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The address is 1813 George Washington Way, Richland, next to Safeway. Phone: 509-946-9008.
Their is no website, but Maui's Apple is on Facebook.