Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 the Fro-yo Year in Review

Fro-yo girl here. As 2011 draws to a close, it’s time to look back at fro-yo events and trends and check out which of my fro-yo wishes came true.

Salty, sweet fro-yo flavors gain favor. This was the year when fro-yo flavors ventured into the land of salty and sweet, with peanut butter and jelly, salted caramel and maple bacon donut.

Fro-yo on the move. The rise of mobile fro-yo trucks was a major trend in 2011, with NYC and Chicago leading the way.

Fro-yo prices rise. The fro-yo price wars of 2009-2010 have ended and even Yogurtland raised its prices to 33 cents and up from 30 cents an ounce. Prices have gone up at many fro-yo shops.

Fro-yo bubble bursts in the Bay Area. Fewer fro-yo shops are opening as the number of closures rises. It’s always sad to see a fro-yo shop close but the ones that I will truly miss are Jubili (the first place I tried tart fro-yo) in SF, Yogurt Harmony in Berkeley, Tartini in Cupertino, and Fro-ggie in Fremont, CA.

Notable fro-yo openings in the Bay Area. Two locations of the Italian fro-yo chain, Yogorino, brought a richer style of fro-yo to SF. Jamba Juice’s Whirln’s fro-yo reached the Bay Area.

My fro-yo wishes mostly came true. I did get more signature fro-yo spoons. Yogurtland came out with Sanrio yogurt spoons. We did get a mobile fro-yo truck in the Bay Area though it was non-dairy. I did have a Greek fro-yo. However, I didn’t have any macarons with fro-yo.

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best New Fro-yo Flavors of 2011

Fro-yo girl here. Now that the year’s coming to a close, I wanted to acknowledge the best new fro-yo flavors of 2011 (flavors introduced in 2011 that I had the chance to try):

* Blush's Gingerbread: I love how this isn’t your typical sweet gingerbread fro-yo flavor. It still has a bit of tang and real yogurt flavor. I love the blend of spices and the thick, creamy, dense texture.
* Yogurtland’s Oatmeal Cookies: Oatmeal cookies has cinnamon and brown sugar. So comforting.
* Yogurtland’s Chocolate Mint Cookies: Chocolate and mint make the perfect combination when the flavors are balanced and Yogurtland does it well in their rich, creamy chocolate mint cookies fro-yo. This flavor reappeared briefly as part of the 12 Days of Christmas promotion.

It’s difficult to choose between Yogurtland’s oatmeal cookies and chocolate mint cookies fro-yo. Both feature tiny bits of cookies in the yogurt mix which elevate the flavors.

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

* BLUSH BURLINGAME: 1212 Donnelly Ave., Burlingame, CA

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Fro-yo Fans

Fro-yo girl here. It’s Christmas Eve and many fro-yo shops are open today. I plan on getting some fro-yo soon...something Christmas-inspired I hope.

Happy holidays to all fro-yo fans!

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

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Meiji Yogurt Caramel Review

Fro-yo girl here. Meiji Yogurt Caramels are worth looking for. They’re one of the few yogurt candies that actually taste good. A 2.5 oz box of individually wrapped caramels is $1.89 at Nijiya Market.

The caramel is square and slightly smaller than a Starburst. The caramel is firm and chewy like taffy. It doesn’t taste like your typical caramel (sugar that’s been caramelized). It tastes like a yogurt drink like Yakult but not as tangy and not as sweet. The flavor is more mild and milky. Delicious. Love the texture, the flavor and even packaging. I’m going to stock up on these.

Ingredients: starch, syrup, sugar, condensed milk powder, vegetable oil, yogurt powder, wheat flour

5 out of 5 stars.

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

* NIJIYA MARKET: 1737 Post St #333, San Francisco, CA

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fro-yo Gift Ideas: Best Yogurt Gifts on Etsy

Fro-yo girl here. The fro-yo gift guide continues. This time I’ve picked out my favorite fro-yo/yogurt related gifts on Etsy. Yogurt soaps are the most common yogurt product on Etsy and those soaps look good, but it’s difficult to evaluate which soaps are better than others based on online listings.

* Easiyo Yogurt zippered coin purse ($5): eco-friendly and clever, Tonyassewingroom took a packet of yogurt mix and turned it into a fabric lined coin purse
* Keep calm and eat yogurt print ($12): the keep calm and carry on phrase started appearing everywhere about a year ago and now there are variations on that phrase. This print from adadart would make a charming addition to any fro-yo loving home.

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

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fro-yo Gift Ideas: Fro-yo Silhouettes

Fro-yo girl here. The holiday fro-yo gift guide continues and this one is for the crafty types. I’ve got a fondness for silhouette art. I saw a book about creating your own silhouette art and made me realize how easy it would be to create fro-yo silhouettes.

1. Find a fro-yo picture you’d like. You could start with a picture you’ve taken of a cup of fro-yo, find a picture online or use one from an ad or flyer. Use a photocopier to increase or decrease the size of the image (if desired).

2. Cut around the profile of the picture. Use this cutout to trace the profile onto the paper you’d like to use. Or trace onto cardboard if you need a sturdy template.

The fro-yo silhouette can be pasted onto colored notecards (Paper Source is the best place to get notecards because they have the widest variety of colors, shapes and sizes). Use the template to trace the image onto felt and you can add the felt fro-yo silhouette to a Christmas stocking, a tote bag, etc.

You could also send the image to Paperwink and have them create a custom rubber stamp for you for $38. Or if you’re really ambitious, you can chisel your own rubber stamp with supplies that you can find at Michael’s.

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

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Flavor Alert: Blush Gingerbread Fro-yo

Fro-yo girl here. Blush’s new gingerbread fro-yo flavor is simply brilliant. You must try it this holiday season. Other gingerbread fro-yo flavors exist but this one tops them all. It’s not super sweet or a substitute for ice cream. Blush’s organic gingerbread fro-yo actually is a bit tangy and has that real yogurt flavor. It has just the perfect blend of spices (clove for sure and probably the usual cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger). I love that you can actually see the spices in the fro-yo. I had gingerbread fro-yo on a cone dipped in chocolate. Incredible!

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

* BLUSH BURLINGAME: 1212 Donnelly Ave., Burlingame, CA

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fro-yo Gift Ideas: Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt Gift Buckets

Fro-yo girl here. I really like these fro-yo gift buckets that I spotted at Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt. For $22.50, you get a painted bucket (one had a Xmas theme) with a $20 Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt gift card, candy cane, pen, etc. The bucket was wrapped up in cellophane. It looked ready for gift giving. Creating something similar would be really easy and any fro-yo fan would love to receive such a gift. I love the cheap, cute mugs at Daiso ($1.50 each). The new Pantone mugs ($15 each) are quite stylish and you can match the color of the gift card to the mug.

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

* WILLOW GLEN FROZEN YOGURT: 267 E. Campbell Ave. #A, Campbell, CA

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fro-yo Gift Ideas: Fro-yo Photos & More

Fro-yo girl here. Looking for gift ideas for your fro-yo loving friend or loved one? Take one good picture of fro-yo and you can do so much with it. You can put the fro-yo picture on a t-shirt, tote bag, pillowcase, mug, notepads, cards, pillows, or ornaments using Zazzle, CafePress, etc. Or choose a variety of fro-yo pictures and create a photo collage or multiple canvas prints. CanvasPop can print your Instagram pictures on canvas for $30 - $60 each.

Pressed for time or don’t feel like personalizing something? FantasticFam has fro-yo t-shirts for $20.

Fro-yo gift cards are always appreciated, especially in my stocking.
Menchie’s is also a good bet for fro-yo gifts, including apparel, cooler bags, plush dolls, and more.

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

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tutti Frutti Not Coming to Westfield San Francisco Centre

Fro-yo girl here. Back in June, I posted a future fro-yo shop picture for Tutti Frutti at Westfield Centre SF. I’d seen the TF sign for that space for months. It said coming Spring 2011 and then they changed it to Fall 2011. The space is still vacant and the TF sign has been removed. It’s unclear who will move into the space next to Calbee in the food court.

TF had a Facebook page which said “Tutti Frutti San Francisco West Field Mall Location Coming Soon In The Food Court May, 1 2011.”

Westfield San Francisco Centre is getting worse (more vacancies). Bloem ‘n Sugar is gone (will I ever have another waffle smoothie?) and now Payless Shoes is closing too. Stonestown Galleria is also on a downward slide.

On another sad note, I tried to get fro-yo from Muffins Muffins and Lee’s Deli in downtown SF. Both still have fro-yo machines but no longer carry fro-yo.

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Apple Pie the Flavor of the Month

Fro-yo girl here. The poll results are in. I recently asked readers to select the fro-yo flavor that best represents November. Apple pie won easily, with 51% of the vote. Caramel came in 2nd place with 24%, followed by cheesecake (19%), cookies n’ cream (2%) and peanut butter (2%).

Poll takers might not have realized that November is Peanut Butter Lovers Month and National Apple Pie Day is May 13. It was started as Peanut Butter Lovers Day on November 4, 1990. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg applied for the first patent for peanut butter on November 4, 1895.

Something about the fall evokes warm, baked, comfort foods and squash. Apple pie, apple pie filling, warm sauces, caramel, brownies, sweet potatoes, apples, cranberries, and cinnamon. I’ve seen apple pie fro-yo and warm apple pie filling...topped with cinnamon.

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

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mochi at Culture Organic Frozen Yogurt, Finally

Fro-yo girl here. Thanksgiving is over and I’m feeling grateful that Culture finally added mochi as a fro-yo topping this month. I waited over three years for this moment.

Their mochi is good (soft and chewy) but small. I like big, pillowy mochi cubes.

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

* CULTURE ORGANIC FROZEN YOGURT: 340 S. California Ave., Palo Alto, CA

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Fro-yo Thanksgiving

Fro-yo girl here. Happy Thanksgiving fro-yo fans! I hope you enjoy the day and save room for fro-yo. Thanksgiving is about being grateful for one’s blessings and spending time with loved ones. I thought I’d share a drawing by my niece, Fro-yo Niece. It shows us going out for fro-yo. It looks like I’m having mango tart fro-yo with strawberry sauce and fresh blackberries.She’s having strawberry fro-yo with fresh strawberries and a wafer cookie. I’m looking forward to having fro-yo for dessert on Thanksgiving, of course.

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tagtile: Identify & Engage Your Customers, Grow Your Business

Fro-yo girl here. I wanted to tell my readers about Tagtile, a new and better way for local businesses to build customer loyalty and increase repeat purchase rates.

Paper stamp cards can create loyalty by rewarding purchase frequency but the merchant doesn’t learn much about the customer base. Twitter and Facebook are good for announcements and promotions, but they’re not good for tracking which customers respond.

New mobile loyalty apps like Tagtile make it more convenient for customers to collect stamps (or tags) and receive targeted offers, messages and reminders on their mobile phones. To earn a tag using Tagtile, the customer launches the Tagtile app and taps his/her phone next to the Tagtile Cube. The Tagtile Cube tracks in-store transactions. The Cube works without an internet connection or it can be integrated with most Point of Sale systems.

By connecting customer identity information with purchase history, Tagtile enables businesses to build a rich database of their users and leverage that data to run highly targeted direct marketing campaigns. The online merchant console makes it easy for merchants to learn about their customer base, including visit frequency, number of first time customers, daily usage, offer redemption rates and more. It also includes mobile marketing tools that enable the merchant to send special offers and notifications to their customers.

Tagtile is founded by alumni from Google and Stanford University and is based in San Francisco.

For additional information and to get started, visit the Tagtile website or email

Download the free Tagtile mobile app from iTunes and Android phones.

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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Meisan Blueberry Nodoame Review

Fro-yo girl here. I found another Japanese yogurt candy. Meisan Blueberry Nodoame is a hard candy that comes in a pouch. Each piece is individually wrapped. The candy is a round, thick disk, like a Life Saver but without a hole.

The blueberry flavor is strong and good but there’s also a bitter flavor that isn’t pleasant. Must be the herb extract they added. There is no yogurt flavor (disappointing) though the ingredients include concentrated yogurt. I think it might be a cough drop. If it is a cough drop, it’s a good one, similar to Ricola’s Mixed Berry but better.

A 2.96 oz. bag is $2.49 at Marina.

3 out of 5 stars.

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The New Wave of Universal Frequent Buyer Cards

Fro-yo girl here. I recently noticed a surge of new universal loyalty card/app vendors at local Bay Area businesses. As someone who carries around a staggering amount of fro-yo loyalty cards, I welcome any type of universal loyalty card program.Due to wallet bloat, I have to restrict my card carrying to my very favorite places.

These are the four universal frequent buyer cards that I’ve encountered:

* FIVESTARS: The merchant registers you by asking for your phone number. Users get a plastic card and a plastic tag with a barcode that they can attach to a keychain. To earn points, the merchant scans the barcode. There is no mobile app, so you can’t see where you’ve earned points unless you register online (then you can check your points on their website). It’s easy to use but seems old school.

* PERKVILLE: An email based loyalty program popular with stylish coffeehouses, Perkville users enter their email address into the merchant’s iPad. Since I’m too lazy to type in my email address, I haven’t joined. However, they feel that their solution is superior since customers don’t have to download a mobile app and it can be used by just about anyone.

* STAMPT: Users download a free mobile app. To earn a stamp, you launch the Stampt app, select the business and take a picture of the QR code that the merchant supplies. It’s fairly easy to use but doesn’t seem to be engaging users (e.g., I don’t see people using it). I do like how it tracks your stamps on your active cards on your mobile phone and shows you nearby offers.

* TAGTILE: This was my favorite loyalty card experience. I downloaded the free mobile app. To earn a tag, I launched the app, selected the business, and waved my phone close to the Tagtile Cube. It was the easiest and coolest to use. The app shows me where I’ve earned tags and where the other offers in the area are. The Cube tracks in store transactions and can be integrated with most point of sale systems.

I noticed some businesses were using more than one vendor because they had multiple offers. Adoption rates seem to be higher at coffeehouses but I think fro-yo shops are a perfect fit for these new loyalty programs. If I didn’t have a smartphone, Five Stars would be my favorite but since I do, I find Tagtile to be the most compelling solution.

Customers with existing stamp cards can ask the merchant to add stamps to their new universal loyalty card.

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fro-yo & Pho: The Pho Bar vs. Yo Pho

Fro-yo girl here. The Bay Area now has two establishments that serve pho and fro-yo: The Pho Bar in Berkeley and Yo Pho in Milpitas. I tried both to see which had the better pho and the better fro-yo.

* Pho vs. Pho: The Pho Bar’s pho is yuppified with hormone free meat and elegantly cut onions and scallions. It comes with the typical pho add-ins. It’s a pretty bowl of soup, not the most flavorful but good. Yo Pho’s broth is dark but lacks richness. They claim to specialize in Northern style pho, which would explain the simpler broth. Pho Bar’s was $1.50 more but they provided more meat of higher quality.
Winner: The Pho Bar

* Fro-yo vs. Fro-yo: Pho Bar has one flavor of fro-yo, Sketch organic tart, it’s refreshing, icy and explosive in flavor. So good! You can add seasonal fresh fruit but that’s the only toppings option they offer. Yo Pho offers 10 flavors of self-serve fro-yo and toppings for 30 cents an ounce. The fro-yo was runny and tasted weird.
Winner: The Pho Bar

Pho and fro-yo may seem a strange combination but The Pho Bar masters it.

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

* THE PHO BAR: 1828 Euclid Ave., Berkeley, CA
* YO PHO: 242 Serra Way, Milpitas, CA

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lotte Samkang Cider and Yogurt Flavored Ice Bar Review

Fro-yo girl here. I found another Korean fro-yo popsicle, Lotte Samkang Cider & Yogurt Flavored Ice Bar. The flavor sounded strange (cider & yogurt). A bag of six individually wrapped popsicles was $4.99. The popsicles are imported from Korea. Each bar is 80 calories and doesn’t have live and active cultures.

The popsicle looks like a pale white square bar and it’s very icy and hard. It tastes like those very sugary yogurt drinks only not as good because it isn’t tangy. It’s way sweet and tastes a bit like bubblegum. Very artificial. There are yellow and pink bits and they’re just like hard pieces of ice with no flavor. It’s refreshing but tastes awful.

Ingredients: water, skimmed milk powder, whey powder, refined salt, coconut oil, artificial flavor, stabilizer, emulsifier, food coloring

2 out of 5 stars.

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

* NIJIYA MARKET:1737 Post St #333, San Francisco, CA

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mobile Fro-yo Trucks

Fro-yo girl here. Forget about ice cream trucks...fro-yo trucks have arrived. I’ve been impressed by the number of mobile fro-yo trucks on the streets and wanted to take stock of the existing fro-yo trucks. Not all the trucks wander the streets. Some are just available for special events. Some are self-serve.

* Berry Froyo Truck (NYC, NY), @BerryFroyoTruck
* Joyride (NYC, NY), @joyridetruck, fro-yo and Stumptown Coffee
* Gozen Yogurt (Philadelphia, PA), @GozenYogurt
* The Froyo Truck (Boston, MA), @thefroyotruck
* Sweetflow Mobile (Washington DC), @SweetflowMobile, Sweetgreen’s truck carries fro-yo and salads
* Tasty Yo (Charlotte, NC), @TastyYo
* LoYo Truck (Greenville, NC): Local Yogurt’s truck is available for special events
* Culture The Yogurt Society (Chicago, IL), @culture, from the founder of Berry Chill
* Kefir Truck (Chicago, IL), @Starfruit Cafe, frozen kefir, a cousin of fro-yo
* Forever Truck (Chicago, IL), @foreverTruck, the mobile version of Forever Yogurt
* YoLo Mobile (Memphis, TN), from YoLo Frozen Yogurt, available for special events
* The Yogurt Truck (Boulder, CO), @TheYogurtTruck
* Big Swirl Truck (Los Angeles, CA): once roamed the streets, now just available for private catering events,
* Strati Organic (Los Angeles, CA), @stratiorganic, organic fro-yo with specialty toppings
* Lickety Split (Santa Barbara, CA), @LicketyTruck
* Twisted Chill (San Jose, CA), @chilltruck: not technically fro-yo, self-serve non-dairy soft-serve, made with lactose free milk, 2 fro-yo machines
* YoMobile (Reno, NV), from Mmmmm Yogurt, available for private events, seems to be for sale

That’s 18 mobile fro-yo vendors. NYC and Chicago have the most mobile fro-yo trucks. If I left a fro-yo truck off the list, let me know.

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Future Fro-yo Shop Picture: Yogurtland Burlingame

Fro-yo girl here. Yogurtland is finally coming to the Peninsula! Burlingame Fro-yo Spy broke the news to me. The newly remodeled Safeway includes some new buildings for restaurants. Yogurtland’s sign is up, along with Five Guys and Which Wich?

I can finally get my Yogurtland spoons without crossing a bridge or driving over an hour. Yay!

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

* YOGURTLAND BURLINGAME: 225 Primrose Rd., Burlingame, CA

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Peppermint Pinkberry

Fro-yo girl here. I tried the new Peppermint Pinkberry with peppermint bark today and it’s perfect for the holiday season. It smells candy canes and that’s how it tastes. I love how it’s creamy yet refreshing. It’s sweet (but not too sweet) without any tangy or sour notes (the base isn’t tart). Any chocolate topping would be fabulous with Peppermint Pinkberry but it would be hard to top chunks of Peppermint Bark (one of my favorite candies). The peppermint bark adds a slight crunch.

I prefer Peppermint Pinkberry to their recent rich, indulgent fro-yo flavors (salted caramel, peanut butter).

Peppermint Pinkberry is available till January 5.

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

Friday, November 4, 2011

Favorite Fro-yo Chain Poll Results

Fro-yo girl here. I recently asked my readers to choose their favorite fro-yo chain. The results are in and Yogurtland won easily with 49% of the votes. Pinkberry came in 2nd with 35% of the votes and Red Mango placed third with 14%.

Red Mango was named the best fro-yo and smoothie chain by Zagat in September 2011, based on Zagat’s Fast Food Poll, based on the votes of 6,064 diners. Red Mango beat out Pinkberry, TCBY, Smoothie King and Jamba Juice. It looks like Yogurtland wasn’t included in the Zagat poll.

The three chains have roughly the same number of locations in the U.S. (Yogurtland has the most, Pinkberry the least) and they represent different service levels. Pinkberry is full service, Yogurtland is self-serve and Red Mango has both full-service and self-serve outlets.

While the number of voters was much smaller with my poll (81 votes, 1 vote per person), my readers are passionate about fro-yo. I consider them to be fro-yo industry opinion leaders.

There’s much to admire about Yogurtland. They have a dedicated flavorologist who comes up with creative fro-yo flavors, they introduce new flavors often, they popularized limited edition fro-yo spoons, and they’ve had some adorable partnerships with Tokidoki and Sanrio. They even have giant fro-yo spoon door handles (Capitola, CA) and college specific fro-yo signs (UC Berkeley’s mascot, Oski the Bear, prefers Bears Mango fro-yo).

Congratulations Yogurtland!

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

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stonyfield Oikos Frozen Greek Yogurt Review

Fro-yo girl. I found Stonyfield Oikos Frozen Greek Yogurt on a recent trip to Whole Foods. Whole Foods on California carried 3 of the 4 flavors: Honey, Blueberry, Vanilla. Chocolate was missing. A pint was $4.99 (regular price). The fro-yo is non-fat and organic.

* Oikos frozen Greek yogurt, honey flavor: it was easily scoopable with ice cream like texture, soft and creamy, the flavor was sweet. The fro-yo was not tangy and did not have a refreshing edge. There was a visible small swirl of honey. The fro-yo lacked flavor and had an unpleasant, weird aftertaste. Maybe I didn’t like the honey they used and how it seemed more like ice cream than fro-yo. I’ve had honey flavored fro-yo that I liked from Yogurtland (honeycomb tart) and I love yogurt with honey, but I didn’t like Oikos honey fro-yo.

3 out of 5 stars.

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

* WHOLE FOODS: 1765 California St., San Francisco, CA

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Spirit Report 2011

Fro-yo girl here. I’ve been looking for fro-yo shop Halloween spirit recently. Sadly, fewer fro-yo shops are decorating this year compared to last, though I have seen greater pumpkin fro-yo availability.

And the winner of the Fro-yo Shop Halloween Spirit goes to...Yoppi Yogurt in Redwood City.

I was impressed to see they had special Halloween signs featuring the Yoppi character in a Halloween costume. He looks ready to go trick-or-treating. They also have Frankberry cereal and candy corn for fro-yo toppings. They decorated the shop windows too.

So far I’ve had pumpkin fro-yo at Blush Organic Frozen Yogurt, Yogurtland, Culture Organic Frozen Yogurt, Fraiche Yogurt, Yoppi Yogurt, Jamba Juice, and Nubi Yogurt.

I'm hoping to see more Halloween spirit next year. Happy Halloween!

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

* YOPPI YOGURT: 851 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trader Joe’s Mango! Mango! Fruit & Yogurt Gummies Review

Fro-yo girl. Halloween is less than a few days away and I’m going to be enjoying yogurt candy. Trader Joe’s recently introduced Mango Mango fruit & yogurt gummies “soft candies flavored with mango, passionfruit, and yogurt.” A bag of gummies (7.05 ounces) is $1.99.

The candies are big, thick, firm and very chewy, with the expected gummi candy texture. The are mango shaped and the flavor is either mango, mango & yogurt or mango & passionfruit. I like how fruity and chewy they are. The flavor is all natural. The mango flavor is the most pronounced.

The yogurt gummi, flavored with yogurt powder and white in appearance, has the least flavor and it doesn’t taste like yogurt.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Campino Yogurt Candy Review

Fro-yo girl. Halloween is just around the corner and candy is on my mind...yogurt candy. Campino Yogourt Gummies and Yogourt & Fruit hard candies by Storck, are made in Germany and sold in Canada. Both candies are made with real yogurt.

* Yogourt Gummies come in five flavors: Cherry, Peach, Raspberry, Lemon & Strawberry. The bag has all five flavors. The soft, fluffy gummies have a swirl shape (reminiscent of a swirl of fro-yo) and swirl of color, white and the fruit color. The gummies are firm and have a spongy marshmallow like quality. The candies are quite tart and sour and they taste a bit different than the usual gummy candy (somewhat milky/yogurty). They are flavored with fruit juice. Cherry is my favorite flavor. Raspberry doesn’t taste raspberry enough. I find the spongy quality somewhat odd and unappealing. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

* Yogourt & Fruit hard candies come in three flavors: peach, Strawberry and Cherry. Each candy is individually wrapped. The yogurt flavor is stronger/more pronounced than in the Yogourt Gummies. The candy is firm and smooth, like a butterscotch candy, with a swirled color (white & the fruit flavor). I tasted the yogurt flavor first, then the fruit. The hard candies are not as sour or tart as the gummies but have a creamier, smoother, more natural taste. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Bags of Campino are $2.99 (Canadian) at Shoppers Drug Mart. They also have Cadbury Mini Eggs YEAR-ROUND.

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

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yogurt Espresso at Caffe Pascucci

Fro-yo girl here. Caffe Pascucci has its origins in Italy with over 100 locations around the world in 20 countries. The SF location is their first in the U.S. Yogurt espresso combines their Gold espresso with light, Italian style yogurt. They can also add caramel, fresh fruit and banana syrup.

* Yogurt espresso ($4.50): The yogurt is whipped and airy and tastes like a sweet, tangy whipped cream. It doesn’t pair well with the straight espresso, which is very strong and bitter. It’s served with a spoon. I didn’t appreciate the combination of textures and flavors.

I’ve seen fro-yo and espresso (affogato) but this is the first place I’ve seen a whipped yogurt with espresso.

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

* CAFFE PASCUCCI: 170 King St. Ste. 109, San Francisco, CA

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy 3rd Blogiversary

Fro-yo girl here. It’s a special day for Fro-Yo Girl Speaks - the 3rd blogiversary! That means three years of heavy fro-yo consumption and fro-yo obsession. Thank you so much to my readers and supporters, as well as to anyone out there who supports the fro-yo industry.

These are the questions that I’m asked the most often:

* What inspired you to start your blog? I wanted to try every fro-yo shop in the Bay Area. Writing reviews wasn’t enough because I’d learn things that didn’t fit in a review format. Having the blog gives me more freedom to discuss fro-yo industry trends and events.
* Are you ever fro-yoed out? I do experience fluctuations in fro-yo desire but I never let myself have a break from fro-yo. It’s important to me to keep up with fro-yo and that means fro-yo consumption.
* Do you want to own your own fro-yo store? Not at all. It’s so much more fun to see what others are doing fro-yo wise and stay independent and unbiased.
* Do you own a fro-yo machine? No, I do not and I’ve never made fro-yo. Why bother when I can bring home fro-yo from my favorite fro-yo shops?

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fro-yo Art

Fro-yo girl here. My new fro-yo canvas print just arrived. I uploaded a fro-yo picture that I took on CanvasPop, chose the filter, size and frame and received proofs from a CP designer. Prices start at $30. There are similar photo to canvas print services (e.g.,, that can break the photo into panels, create collages and artsy effects (e.g., Andy Warhol look), etc. Even Walgreens offers this service.

There’s something special about creating something unique from a photo that I took. I’m the only person with this canvas print. It’s so easy and affordable to create fro-yo art now.

I took a picture of pumpkin fro-yo and it's hanging in my bedroom now.

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

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Yoppi Yogurt Redwood City Grand Opening

Fro-yo girl here. I had a cup of free fro-yo (French vanilla & pumpkin pie fro-yo with Frankenberry cereal) at the grand opening celebration of Yoppi Redwood City today. From 12 - 2 PM, you could walk in grab a cup and have as much fro-yo and toppings as you wanted. They also had a sign-up sheet to win t-shirts and gift cards and coupons for 15% off a future purchase. They had the Yoppi t-shirts there and they came in several colors - yellow, olive, pink, blue.

I liked the store's Halloween decorations and Halloween inspired toppings: candy corn and FRANKENBERRY!!!

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

* YOPPI YOGURT: 851 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yoppi Redwood City Grand Opening, 10/15

Fro-yo girl here. Yoppi Yogurt is celebrating the opening of their Redwood City location tomorrow. The shop has already opened. Saturday’s festivities include raffles for t-shirts and gift cards, free fro-yo & toppings from 12 - 2 PM.

Oktoberfest will also be tomorrow from 10 AM - 8 PM in Redwood City’s Courthouse Square. Free admission.

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

* YOPPI YOGURT: 851 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yogurtland & Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Awareness Month Promotion

Fro-yo girl here. I stopped by Yogurtland to check out their Breast Cancer Awareness Month promotion. The promotion runs till the end of October. I wasn’t sure if there were special spoons and a limited edition fro-yo flavor.

*Spoons: There are no special spoons but Yogurtland associates have been instructed to hand out only pink spoons this month.

* Fro-yo Flavor: There isn’t a new flavor but they are promoting their Fresh Strawberry fro-yo flavor with a special sign. The sign talks about breast cancer and has a scannable QR code that links to a Breast Health Resource Guide.

* Free Sprinkles: After you make your purchase, you can add free white and pink sprinkles. The pink sprinkles are ribbon shaped, in honor of breast cancer awareness.

Thanks to Yogurtland and to other fro-yo shops (e.g., CUPS, Sweetie Peaz, Yagoot, Yogurtini, Yogurtology, TCBY) for helping to promote breast cancer awareness.

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

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lifeway Frozen Kefir Review

Fro-yo girl here. I kept checking Whole Foods for Lifeway Frozen Kefir and I finally found Rainbow Grocery. Rainbow Grocery carries all four tart and tangy flavors: strawberry, mango, pomegranate and original. Frozen kefir is 90 calories a serving, lowfat, 99% lactose free and full of live and active probiotic cultures.

Rainbow Grocery is currently selling a pint of frozen kefir for $4.25 (regular price: $5.09).

* Original: Not as hard and firm as I expected, pleasing texture, soft, icy but with some creaminess, tangy but not sour, sweet aftertaste, light but more substantial than sorbet, hint of vanilla flavor
* Pomegranate: bright, tangy, fruity, tastes a bit candy like, clean aftertaste, icy but not watery

I’m really loving frozen kefir, the cousin of yogurt. I favor the original flavor.

5 out of 5 stars.

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

* RAINBOW GROCERY: 1745 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Yogurt Popsicles Spotted in Vancouver

Fro-yo girl here. I stumbled on several interesting yogurt items in Canada (items I hadn’t seen in the U.S.), including Hoo yogurt soda ice cream bars. I didn’t try them but will look out for them in the U.S. The blue color seemed scary. The writing on the box looks Chinese.

* T & T Supermarket: 179 Keefer Pl, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Product at Blush: Mix’n

Fro-yo girl here. October is my favorite month at Blush because their divine organic pumpkin pie fro-yo returns. It’s one of my very favorite fro-yo flavors. I like how theirs isn’t the traditional sweet flavor. It has a tart base but it’s not too tart.
There’s a new way to enjoy their fro-yo; they just introduced Mix’n. You pick your fro-yo flavor (any available flavor) and up to two toppings (any toppings will work) and they mix them together using a machine that looks like a blender stick. Everything is mixed together and served in a white cup.

My mix'n had pumpkin pie fro-yo with Butterfinger pieces...loved the combination.
They also have dipped cones and gourmet cookie cones.

* BLUSH ORGANIC FROZEN YOGURT: 1212 Donnelly Ave., Burlingame, CA (other locations in Dublin, Walnut Creek, SF, Milpitas)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Qoola Yogurt + Fruit of Vancouver, BC

Fro-yo girl here. I couldn’t go to Vancouver without checking out Qoola, the fro-yo chain that first opened up in Vancouver three years ago. The original location at 1116 Denman St. just closed for good on Sept. 25th but they plan to relocate. The note they posted says “we will be opening a new & improved store in the area by early next year...we will be opening 4 new locations within the next 2 months: Westshore (Langford) & Government/Yates St. in Victoria (October 2011), Coquitlam Center & Nanaimo (November 2011).”

Qoola currently has four locations, 3 in the Vancouver area (the one in Burnaby is the first self-serve fro-yo shop in the Vancouver area) and 1 in the Philippines.
Luckily, I was able to experience the original location before it closed.

The shop certainly had visual appeal - very clean, almost all white, modern looking. The fresh fruit looked great. I could see that they emphasized freshness and local ingredients. Their yogurt is made with fresh, probiotic, liquid yogurt (not reconstituted powder).
The original location had 4 fro-yo flavors (not self-serve), smoothies, organic waffles, Q*cake, Q*pocket, tea, and coffee. I had expected that most of the fro-yo flavors would be tart, but only one was (original). I thought the cup would be decorated too, but it was plain. The fro-yo was good but didn’t stand out.

Fro-yo prices (Canadian): Mini ($1.99)/ Small ($2.99)/ Medium ($3.99)/ Large ($5.99)

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