Market Basket : Let's hop to it: Much area news to unpack

Hoping your Easter basket is overflowing as much as our shopping cart is today.

Today's column shares details about restaurant companies that are scouting our area, a supermarket program that targets kids, a themed indoor play park, and more with all our peeps. (Note the much-intended Easter candy reference!)

Wingstop, Orange Leaf restaurants possible

A 550-unit chicken wing company says it has signed a 12-store development agreement with an Indiana franchisee. That franchisee is planning to open Wingstop restaurants in areas including South Bend-Mishawaka.

The Richardson, Texas-based company has been around since 1994, but it operates only one Indiana and three Michigan locations so far -- and none of those is in our region.

Wingstop restaurants are generally 1,350 to 1,800 square feet and are located in strip centers near residential neighborhoods. Restaurants are open from 11 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.

The Indiana franchisee also has exclusive rights to develop new Orange Leaf frozen yogurt shops in a four-state area.

These shops are similar to other locally owned and franchised dessert shops across the area, including Urban Swirl in Mishawaka and Goshen, Let's Spoon in South Bend and Mishawaka, Sweet Frog in South Bend and Honey's Frozen Yogurt in Goshen. They allow the customer to choose their own flavor and toppings from a self-serve bar.

New Orange Leaf locations are planned in South Bend and Crown Point, Ind., according to its website. Check back for more information about both franchises. No timeframe has been offered for possible area locations.

Kids can sign up for new Martin's club

Remember the feeling of independence when you received your first library card? Now, kids have the chance to feel more like consumers when they visit the grocery store with mom and dad.

Martin's Super Markets recently launched a new Kids Club, which is available to any child between the ages of 5 and 12 whose parent or guardian has a Martin's Advantage Card.

Kids will receive a membership card that can be used to redeem free items and receive special discounts from the Martin's produce department. Martin's goal is to offer at least one free healthy food or snack item per month to kid members.

Ask any cashier for a kids club card. The card must be presented to activate the promotional offers. More information can be found at martinskidsclub.com.

Concord Mall debuts RV-themed play area

Mall management decided it was time to eliminate the center court fountain, so it was demolished and replaced with pint-sized recreational vehicles.

The Kids RV Play Park officially opened Saturday.

"This is our chance to recognize the thousands of families in the trade area that work within the RV industry," says longtime mall manager Robert Thatcher, who also is working with RV companies to become play place sponsors.

The play area, which is located near The Grove food court, includes climbers, slides and crawl tunnels and is open during mall hours.

Granger restaurants gear up for specials

It is almost time for the Granger restaurant week.

The first-time event is scheduled to start April 12 and run through April 21.

More than a dozen locally owned Granger and northern Mishawaka restaurants are expected to participate.

These restaurants will feature special multi-course dinners or meals for two for $30; some will be offering breakfast and lunch specials, too. Check out all the details at eatgranger.com.

Have you heard?

AutoZone is constructing a new 7,100-square-foot store at 4500 Michigan St., near the south-side Dunkin' Donuts in South Bend. ... Marco's Pizza is planning a new location at 5714 N. Main St., Mishawaka, according to a state construction report. ... Construction on the new McDonald's restaurant at 3610 Bremen Highway, Mishawaka, could begin soon with the parent company recently filing paperwork for the 4,300-square-foot building with the state ... Our live chat is taking a two-week break. The next online discussion will be held at 1 p.m. April 16.

Heidi Prescott's column runs on Fridays and Sundays. Contact her at hprescott@sbtinfo.com or 574-235-6070. You can also talk retail at Facebook.com/thebasket and at Twitter.com/marketbasket. Hear her weekday reports at 6:52 a.m. on The WSBT Morning News with JT at WSBT-AM (960) and WSBT-FM (96.1).

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