Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fro-yo Seattle report: Self-serve fro-yo

Fro-yo girl here. I've returned to Seattle looking for fro-yo. Since my last visit back March of this year, self-serve fro-yo has really taken hold of the city. Judging from the crowds, it was something that Seattle residents really desired.

Self-serve fro-yo timeline:
* December 2010: Menchie's opens in Queen Anne, offers 14 fro-yo flavors a day, 43 cents an ounce
* March 2011: zoeyogurt opens in Green Lake
* April 2011: Yogurtland opens in Capitol Hill, offers 16 fro-yo flavors a day, 35 cents an ounce

It was very interesting to observe the patrons at these self-serve fro-yo shops. I noticed that their self-serve creations looked pretty awful. They don't have swirling skills yet but I'm sure they'll learn quickly. If their market follows what I've seen elsewhere, some full serve fro-yo shops are going to convert to self-serve soon and Tutti Frutti shops will pop up (seemingly) overnight. Maybe the prices will decline (Menchie's and Yogurtland charge more here).

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

* MENCHIE'S:2101 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA
* ZOEYOGURT: 6900 E Green Lake Way N, Seattle, WA
* YOGURTLAND: 1620 Broadway Suite D, Seattle, WA

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Live from NYC: Fro-yo Trucks!

Fro-yo girl here. I have a special treat for my readers…the return of my guest blogger and friend, Helene K. This time she’s reporting on the fro-yo trucks that drive around New York City. I still haven’t had fro-yo from a truck and she provides a thorough report on those NYC fro-yo trucks. Thanks Helene!

Be sure to visit Helene's blog and official website, and follow her on Twitter, @hkwong
You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

And here's Helene's post:

Fro-yo Girl’s Travel Scout here! I just got back from the Big Apple, where the weather was scorching hot. What better treat to have than fro-yo on wheels?

The Joyride Truck travels throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn; not only do they serve frozen yogurt, they also have Stumptown coffee, pastries, and breakfast specials (oatmeal or yogurt parfait). In terms of fro-yo flavors, they offer two: plain tart & buzzed, which is plain tart with a shot of caffeine. They offer three sizes of fro-yo: Small $4, Medium $5.50, and Large $6.75. Add on an extra quarter or two for the buzzed flavor. In terms of toppings, choose from an offering of both fresh fruit and candy toppings. Sadly, no mochi though!

When I was in New York in February, I got the chance to check out Joyride when they were in the Flatiron District, 26th & Park (Tuesdays). This time around, I made the trek up to 52nd and Lexington on a Thursday to get a chance to catch them before they closed. On both visits, I got to try the plain tart and the buzzed. Both taste pretty much the same and the shot of caffeine is just oh-so-subtle. Joyride gets the fro-yo consistency just right (not too melty, not too firm).

Definitely when you spot the Joyride Truck, make sure you try out one of their coffee drinks, especially the Jeffrey Paul. That wonderful drink is hot chocolate (from Stumptown) with two shots of espresso. Mmm, caffeine to the max!

Joyride’s other offerings include Texas Gold Iced Tea, Chai Latte, and Danny Macaroons (so much to try, so little time). Joyride accepts cash and credit card payments (via Square). They seem to cater more towards the office-working-crowd, but they also do special events throughout the city.

Another fro-yo truck I spotted while in New York was YoGo, “New York’s Finest Yogurt”. On both a Wednesday and Thursday, the truck was located at 23rd and Park, which was very convenient for me. How could I resist a pink fro-yo truck?

YoGo has four sizes: Cone $3, Small $4, Regular $6, and Large $8. Add an extra dollar if you want toppings on that cone. YoGo’s flavors are tart and vanilla, both fat-free. I was surprised with their large offering of toppings, including mochi. According to the New York Street Food Blog, YoGo has a total of five trucks swarming the city of New York.

Even though YoGo only offers fro-yo (and only two flavors), they have a good business model going. The fro-yo was crisp and slightly icy; the fruit and mochi were deliciously fresh.

So, wherever you go in the Big Apple this summer, make sure you track down some delicious tart fro-yo from either Joyride or YoGo!

Joyride Twitter:
YoGo FB Page:
YoGo Twitter:
NYSF Blog re: YOGO:
Stumptown Coffee:
Danny Macaroons:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Best Fro-yo Shop Name Winner

Fro-yo girl here. Several potential fro-yo shop owners have contacted me for advice on coming up with a fro-yo shop name. I've advised against choosing a formulaic or generic name (e.g., color + type of fruit). Those types of names give the impression that the shops are like any other. I encourage people to be creative and to choose a name that fits with other elements of their marketing (e.g., decor).

I recently polled my readers and asked, which fro-yo shop has the best name? The readers have spoken...and the winner is...Blush Organic Frozen Yogurt! Congratulations to Blush. Blush is a charming word that makes me smile. I really like how they also named their signature fro-yo flavor, Blush. This Pomegranate Dragonfruit fro-yo flavor has a pretty pink color consistent with blushing. Their cherry logo is consistent with the theme as well (the color).

I liked all of the names that I picked out for the poll but some of them involve unfamiliar, foreign words (e.g., Miam Miam). Blush is clean, crisp, memorable and charming.

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

DAHlicious Lassi Review

Fro-yo girl here. DAHlicious Lassi drinks caught my eye during a recent trip to Canyon Market. These all natural, made in Vermont lowfat yogurt shakes are made with very few ingredients. The shakes contain probiotic Indian style yogurt, real fruit, cane juice, water and vegetable fiber. Canyon had two flavors, Alphonso Mango or Wild Maine Blueberry. They have two other flavors: Ecuador Banana and Oregon Strawberry.

* Wild Maine blueberry lassi ($2.79): the fresh flavor of the blueberry comes through, as does the flavor of the yogurt. The drink is quite tart and natural tasting. I like how it wasn't that sugary and wasn't as thick as smoothies can be. The yogurt added some creaminess. It didn't taste particularly Indian to me but they claim that their Indian style yogurt is their secret. It's nice to know that I'm getting 15 billion probiotic cultures per bottle.

5 out of 5 stars.

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

* CANYON MARKET: 2815 Diamond St. San Francisco, CA

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Nubi San Mateo Opens

Fro-yo girl here. Nubi San Mateo (Bridgepointe/ by the Foster City border) opened today. It's in the Home Depot parking lot next to Chipotle and Panda Express. I didn't see any special promotions or even any balloons. Fro-yo is self-serve as usual, with 12 fro-yo flavors a day and toppings for 39 cents an ounce. They were handing out 2 for 1 coupons good at any Nubi location and the receipt has a coupon for their other business, Ono Hawaiian BBQ.

They had some interesting fro-yo flavors like Electric Bubblegum (it does taste like a sweet sugary gum and is an electric blue color) and Powerfruit Tart (with carrot, cranberry and orange).

It looks like the space still needs some work (ceiling looked unfinished). There isn't any fro-yo in that area, so it's a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

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

* NUBI SAN MATEO: 2015 Chess Dr., San Mateo, CA

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Future Fro-yo Shop Picture: Tutti Frutti SF

Fro-yo girl here. Yet another Tutti Frutti location is opening...this one is on the bottom level of SF Westfield Centre Mall, in the food court area. Sur La Table replaced the Bristol Farms section that was across from their main store and a few new shops are opening in that area, including Tutti Frutti and Calbee. It's the second TF location in SF but the one in Japantown is called MoYo's for some reason. It's also the second self-serve fro-yo shop in the mall. Yoppi Yogurt opened last year.

I thought that space near Sur La Table would be home to a Pinkberry - a shop that would be more suitable for SF Westfield Centre. I'm actually more excited about the opening of Calbee, the Asian snack shop that is set to open on July 1. As for TF, it says coming in Spring 2011...and summer is less than a week away.

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

* TUTTI FRUTTI: 865 Market St., San Francisco, CA

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tart Berry Yogurt Lip Gloss at Bath & Body Works

Fro-yo girl here. Bath and Body Works Hello, Yellow Sale started a few days ago, with up to 75% off clearance items. Their Liplicious Ice Cream Shop Lip Gloss Collection is currently $2 each, marked down from $8 each (buy 4 for $10 online at Liplicious glosses feature food scents and flavors. I was surprised to find a tart yogurt flavored lip gloss.

Ice Cream Shop Lip Gloss Flavors:
* Cherry Spumoni
* Banana Split
* Strawberry Parfait
* Tart Berry Yogurt: It actually smells like yogurt and has a berry color. I'm glad it doesn't have glitter.

Here's their description: "Sinfully delicious (yet guiltless) flavors and high fashion shades in a rich and creamy base for all the women out there who are simply obsessed with ice cream. Delicious mouth-watering flavor and high-shine in a moisturizing formula with Vitamin E and Jojoba oils. Sheer cool fuschia berry with a hint of shimmer. Tastes like creamy tart berry yogurt."

What a brilliant idea. I'd love to see a tart yogurt lip balm (not much of a gloss user) without color that could be used by fro-yo girls and guys.

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

Saturday, June 11, 2011

SoCal Fro-yo Report: Onigiri & Fro-yo, Vegan Soft Serve

Fro-yo girl here. I returned to SoCal, land of fro-yo, the capital of fro-yo. Fro-yo shops have continued to close. Cities like Moorpark have lost multiple fro-yo shops (Froyo Life, Menchie's). Of course there are still plenty of fro-yo shops. I look for innovative shops and I found the following:

* SUNNY BLUE (2728 Main St, Santa Monica, CA): I knew I had to go to a shop that specializes in two things I love: fro-yo and Japanese rice balls (omusubi/onigiri). The rice balls were better than the fro-yo. They're assembled after you order them so the onigiri is still warm and fresh. There aren't too many places to get a warm, freshly made onigiri. The fro-yo was organic. I did like their fro-yo toppings which included Pocky, cornflakes, mochi and red bean.

* KINDKREME (3701 Cahuenga Blvd. Studio City, CA): Gourmet raw vegan food...It's not a fro-yo shop but they do have soft serve ice cream. It isn't tart and they only seem to have chocolate and vanilla flavors (flavors aren't rotated). That was disappointing. I know that yogurt can be made with soy, rice milk, almond milk, etc. so I was hoping for a tart fro-yo. The vanilla soft serve is made with almond milk, giving it a nutty flavor. It was icy.

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

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cutest Fro-yo Cups, My Top 3 Picks

Fro-yo girl here. Something about eating fro-yo out of a cute cup with an adorable spoon just makes it taste better. Having a nice looking swirl and neatly applied toppings also increase the appeal of a cup of fro-yo.

When it comes to cute fro-yo cups, the top honors go to Menchie's...followed by Yoppi Yogurt in the Bay Area. Third place goes to Eggettes/Rock It Swirl because they put the Eggettes character on the cup. The cutest fro-yo cups ever were the Tokidoki loves Yogurtland ones. As you can see, having cute characters on the cup seems to be the key to a cup that appeals to me.

Are there other cute fro-yo cups out there that you know about? I would love to see them. Send me your pics.

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

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Frozen Yogurt & Toppings Show in Fremont, CA on June 15, 10 AM - 4 PM

Fro-yo girl here. Palo Alto Egg is sponsoring a fro-yo & toppings open house show in Fremont, CA, to take place at the Western Freezers office. Own a frozen yogurt shop or thinking about getting into fro-yo? This is a show you should attend. It's National Frozen Yogurt Month and also around the time when the weather heats up and thoughts turn to fro-yo.

Come for:
* Show specials
* Over 100 toppings to try, including new toppings
* New YoCream flavors, including Activia soft serve fro-yo flavors
* New Stoelting soft serve machines
* Hot foods and slushes

Show Details: June 15, 10 AM - 4 PM

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

* WESTERN FREEZERS: 42285 Osgood Rd, Unit F, Fremont, CA

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fro-yo Sunday/Sundae: Thoughts on Salted Caramel Pinkberry

Fro-yo girl here. It feels fitting to talk about Salted Caramel Pinkberry on National Frozen Yogurt Day (a.k.a., the first Sunday/Sundae of June). Salted Caramel Pinkberry is a marked departure from most Pinkberry flavors. It isn't tart based. Like Chocolate Pinkberry, it's more of an indulgent adult dessert type.

I tried the salted caramel shake $5.25), which is topped with a huge dollop of Swirly Whip (whipped cream with Original Tart Pinkberry) and swirls of caramel sauce. There's more caramel sauce at the very bottom. It's a decadent, rich dessert type drink, reminiscent of Starbucks popular Frappuccino line of dessert like beverages.

I like salted caramel but in small doses and while I could appreciate the butter richness of the caramel flavor, it seemed like too much (I'd be happier with a mini shake). I also don't like drinks with whipped cream on top (dessert drinks).

If you order Salted Caramel Pinkberry in a cup or cone, they actually sprinkle it with salt - nice touch. The Salted Caramel flavor doesn't have yogurt flavor...and since I don't see fro-yo as an ice cream substitute, I found myself craving tart fro-yo. I can see how SCP would appeal to a larger market though.

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

Friday, June 3, 2011

National Frozen Yogurt Day, Week & Month

Fro-yo girl here. I was reading through my old posts and I reread the article that explains how TCBY started National Frozen Yogurt Month (June), National Frozen Yogurt Week (first week of June) and National Frozen Yogurt Day - first Sunday/Sundae in June. I plan on having fro-yo on Sunday to celebrate. For you fro-yo fans out there, be sure to up your fro-yo consumption during National Frozen Yogurt Week (this week) and this month. Plan a fro-yo outing this weekend.

I think I found a frozen yogurt sticker - see the cup that says Frozen on it. So cute :-)

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

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fro-yo Open House at Taylor Freezers

Fro-yo girl here. YoCream sponsored today's open house at Taylor Freezers office in South San Francisco and the focus of the event was on their new line of Activia soft serve frozen yogurt flavors. Like Activia yogurt, Activia fro-yo has bifidus regularis which helps regulate your digestive system. Activia Frozen Yogurt comes in four non-fat flavors: Peach, Blueberry, Strawberry and Vanilla. These are sweet flavors that taste similar to Activia yogurt and have a smooth, creamy texture. The fruit flavors are subtle. I didn't get a chance to try the vanilla flavor (it wasn't there).

Attendees also had the opportunity to sample Watermelon Sorbet, Thin Mint Cookies, Greek Yogurt (now with a touch of honey) and Pink Grapefruit (tart) fro-yo. Pink Grapefruit was my favorite flavor but I prefer tart fro-yo.

Taylor also had some broaster chicken available to promote their broaster fryer equipment.

You can catch YoCream tomorrow (June 2) in Sacramento from 10 - 4 PM.

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

June 2: Taylor Freezers, 524 Display Way, West Sacramento, CA