Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First Visit to sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt

Fro-yo girl here. I finally made it to a sweetFrog location. The fast growing self-serve frozen yogurt chain first entered the California market in March 2013 and now has locations in Lancaster, Palmdale, Riverside and Victorville. The company, which is based in Richmond, VA, was founded in 2009 and has grown to 348 stores. sweetFrog was recently acquired by private equity firm, Boxwood Capital Partners LLC.

“sweetFrog prides itself on providing a family-friendly environment where customers can enjoy soft-serve frozen yogurt, gelato and sorbets with the toppings of their choice. The company was founded on Christian principles and seeks to bring happiness and a positive attitude into the lives of the communities it calls home. The F.R.O.G. in sweetFrog stands for Fully Rely On God, and we show that by being a good neighbor everywhere we move into. Through local partnerships, fundraisers, and much more, our stores become part of the fabric that wraps their communities.”

Froyo & God? The Riverside location isn’t shy about loving God. The product corner which features sweetFrog/God merchandise you can buy features the mascots, Scoop and Cookie, wearing clothing that mentions God and the t-shirts they sell say Fully Rely on God. The Styrofoam froyo cups mention John 3:16 (chapter 3, verse 16 of the Gospel of John).

It’s a little odd…but what you really want to know about is the froyo. The original tart was overly icy, not smooth and lacking a rich yogurt flavor. It was also too soft. The peanut butter was creamy but overly sweet. The toppings bar was standard – fruit, popping boba, mochi, syrups, nuts, candy, cookies, cheesecake, etc.

I can see why kids would like this place – it’s cheerful with pastel colors (inspired by Pinkberry?), a green tile wall that looks like Yogurtland’s and frog mascots, plus there are plenty of frozen yogurt flavors and toppings to choose from for 42 cents/ounce. However, sweetFrog doesn’t differentiate itself from other self-serve chains (other than by offering God/froyo merchandise). Even the merchandise they offer isn’t as cute as Menchie’s.

I was surprised that sweetFrog still uses Styrofoam cups and non-compostable spoons.

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

* SWEETFROG: Canyon Crest Towne Centre, 5225 Canyon Crest Dr, Riverside, CA 92507

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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