Thursday, May 14, 2015

Loop Neighborhood: A New Kind of Convenience Store, Featuring Froyo (and Free Wi-fi)

Fro-yo girl here. Meet Loop – a new kind of convenience store. Loop opened its first location in Santa Clara, CA in June 2013 and now has a dozen locations in Northern California. Additional locations are on the way, including one on Hickey Blvd. in Daly City (currently under construction).

The Loop seeks to redefine your local convenience store by offering healthier options, including organic, natural and gluten free products. The Loop has a modern, sleek design with white and orange as the color scheme and encourages people to linger and enjoy free wi-fi, a cup of froyo, fresh pastries, and espresso drinks. They carry things like kale chips, roasted seaweed snacks and bubble bath.

The Loop location that I visited was at a Shell gas station. 

The froyo station consisted of two Electro Freeze soft serve machines, each carrying two flavors with the twist option. The froyo is from Dannon YoCream. A small toppings bar on the side offered 14 options, including popping boba, sprinkles, candy, mochi, nuts, and chocolate chips. There wasn’t any fresh fruit. During my visit the flavors were: Country vanilla, Pistachio, Very strawberry and Chocolate classic.

You can choose between two sizes. A small is $2.99 and a large cup $3.99, with toppings an additional 50 cents. It’s self-serve and they don’t weigh your cups.

They didn’t have sample cups but were nice enough to improvise. The froyo tasted fine but it was way too soft. It would be difficult to pile a lot into a cup because of the soft texture. I hate it when froyo is too soft…so please, convenience stores and supermarkets take note – if you want to offer froyo, please make sure the texture is right because it so rarely is. Who wants to buy a big cup of runny, melted froyo?

As for the rest of the market, the hot food options weren’t that different from 7-Eleven: wings, rollers, hot dogs, potato wedges, etc. You can still get Icees. Loop has fancier soda and coffee machines and their own blend of coffee. The pastries looked fresher (and weren’t wrapped in plastic). There were a few tables. It’s a nicer looking cousin to 7-Eleven, AMPM and Circle K.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

* LOOP NEIGHBORHOOD: 950 Hillside Blvd., Daly City, CA 94014

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

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