Thursday, December 22, 2016

First Visit to U-Swirl

Fro-yo girl here. I didn’t realize that the U-Swirl chain had locations in California. Their first California location opened a few years ago in Chico, CA. That location has since closed. This year they opened their second location in Southern California in Downey in August 2016. The first SoCal location in San Clemente opened in December 2015.

The San Clemente U-Swirl is co-branded with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The Downey one is not. U-Swirl describes itself as follows: “Unlike conventional frozen yogurt shops where you must wait for service only to have the clerk skimp on a few toppings, at U-Swirl you simply pick up a cup, swirl it with any combinations of yogurt flavors, then top it off with your favorite toppings. Choose one, three, ten toppings. Make it healthy, or decadent -- it's up to you! And because your creation is priced by weight, you even control what you pay.” That description could apply to any self-serve frozen yogurt shop.

U-Swirl Downey was clean and pleasant but the interior felt sterile without much personality. The flavor posters in the window were nice but generic looking. The yogurt wall had white and blue rectangular tiles. There were 12 self-serve flavors with the middle handle labeled as well (as a separate swirl flavor). If you count the middle handle, they had 18 flavors. It’s 47 cents an ounce, a bit cheaper than the Menchie’s down the street (Menchie’s is 49 cents an ounce).

The froyo flavors were typical, e.g., peanut butter, chocolate, vanilla, cake batter, pumpkin pie, etc. The texture was on the icy side. The flavors were average. Pumpkin pie tasted like spiced apple pie rather than pumpkin. Odd. Original tart was on the icy side and was about average in tartness. Flavorwise, I prefer Menchie’s and Yogurtland.

The toppings bar was a bit better. I liked how there were big pieces of brownies, big chunks of Butterfinger, Peanut M&Ms, cupcake bites and Magic Shell. They also had your typical mochi, popping boba, candy, fruit, nuts, coconut, cookies, cereal, chocolate chips and syrups.

There are currently 43 U-Swirl locations listed on the U-Swirl website.

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

* U-SWIRL: 8855 Apollo Way St. 220, Downey, CA 90242

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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