Cartersville finds its Sweet Spot
by Matt Shinall
Sep 26, 2011 | 3450 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Caroline Wright serves herself a dish of frozen yogurt while her birthday wishers look on. Wright was celebrating her ninth birthday with friends at the recently opened The Sweet Spot located on West Main Street in Cartersville.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Caroline Wright serves herself a dish of frozen yogurt while her birthday wishers look on. Wright was celebrating her ninth birthday with friends at the recently opened The Sweet Spot located on West Main Street in Cartersville. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Returning to his roots and joining a culinary trend, Kasey Carpenter owns and operates The Sweet Spot in Cartersville, the city's first shop diving into a frozen treat sweeping the nation.

The Sweet Spot, like shops popping up across the country, is a self-serve frozen yogurt parlor offering a variety of flavors and a plethora of toppings.

The Cartersville location, 148 W. Main St. in Integrity Plaza, is Carpenter's third frozen yogurt shop. The Sept. 9 opening was his third in less than three months. His first Sweet Spot opened in Dalton in July, followed by another in Calhoun just days before the Cartersville store opened its doors.

Carpenter, 33, may be new to Cartersville but he's no amateur when it comes to food service. In addition to his three Sweet Shops, Carpenter owns two restaurants, both called Oakwood Grill -- the original in Dalton with another in Forest Park at the Atlanta Farmer's Market.

He's also no new comer to frozen yogurt. The relatively healthier alternative to ice cream has recently seen a resurgence in popularity but Carpenter's first taste was in his mother's TCBY franchise shop years ago.

"I actually started in the yogurt business when I was 8 years old. ... I think everything is just cyclical," Carpenter said, adding that in the current economy frozen yogurt is a small luxury many people can still afford. "Even though the economy is bad, ice cream is a cheap happiness. ... It kind of eases the pain of the bad economy."

The Calhoun Sweet Spot is in transition to ownership by his brother, but on top of currently owning and operating five dining establishments, Carpenter is awaiting the birth of his fourth child. With all his irons in the fire, he credits hard work, long hours, little sleep and an understanding wife for continued success. He has his hands full but said his aggressive approach with frozen yogurt is primarily driven by his confidence in the product.

"The biggest thing is, we just want to get to market and show people how good the yogurt is," Carpenter said. "We just kind of fell in love with the concept, with the product. So, I went and sampled about 20 different kinds of yogurt all over the Southeast for about a month when I decided to do this. ... I ate yogurt everyday at a different place."

His quest for the perfect recipe took him across much of the Southeast, throughout Georgia and into Alabama, Florida and Tennessee. The self-serve concept struck Carpenter as a common sense approach to giving the customer what they want. Each day, 14 flavors are featured rotating out with others including fat-free options and dairy-free sorbets. After selecting their frozen yogurt, patrons top it off with any of 30-plus additives from cookie dough and cheesecake pieces to cereal or crushed candy bars. Once a visitor has created their concoction, the final product is weighed and priced by the ounce.

The Sweet Spot is located in Cartersville's historic downtown. Carpenter has located all of his operations in downtown locations and looks forward to becoming a part of the community. With family living in Cartersville, Carpenter has had his eye on expansion into the area for some time and has plans for opening an Oakwood Cafe in town.

"I've always been attracted to the downtown area. We've eaten at a lot of the restaurants and shopped at a lot of shops. We just think it's a pretty cool place," Carpenter said. "We have a super friendly staff and we're really big community-oriented stores. All three stores are in downtown locations. We're real big into becoming a part of Cartersville, becoming a part of Calhoun and a part of Dalton."

The Sweet Spot is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, call 770-334-3059 or visit www.sweetspotfroyo.net.