Tuesday, April 30, 2019

LA Weekly’s 10 Places to Get Your Fro-Yo Fix, the Update 10 Years Later

Fro-yo girl here. Back in 2009, LA Weekly published an article called Top 10 Places To Get Your Froyo Fix. Since ten years have elapsed, I thought I’d take a look at the places that made the Top 10 list.

  • Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt: It’s not the same Golden Spoon that was founded in 1983. In 2012-2013, Golden Spoon experimented with converting stores to self-serve and ultimately decided not to convert any other locations. In 2017, seven locations closed, along with the corporate office. There are no longer any Golden Spoon franchisees or a corporate office to oversee Golden Spoon locations. However, there are still Golden Spoon locations. 
  • Pure Naked Yogurt: I believe all the locations have closed: Encino and Westfield Century City. They only had one flavor of yogurt, tart, and only had healthy toppings. 
  • 21 Choices: 21 Choices started in Pasadena in the 90’s. Later, they expanded to Claremont and USC. The USC location closed. The Pasadena location was going strong after being closed for months, because their building needed earthquake retrofitting. 21 Choices decided to move their Pasadena location to the corner of Fair Oaks & Union. The new shop is still under construction. They're known for their mix in style froyo, creative flavors, and wide toppings selection. 
  • Studio Yogurt: Studio Yogurt opened in Studio City in 1997 and closed in 2014. The location was taken over by Yogurtland. It was an old school yogurt shop known for generous portions. 
  • Humphrey Yogart: Humphrey Yogart almost closed when they lost their lease in 2016, but at the last moment, they found a new space, inside Gelson’s in Sherman Oaks. The menu has been pared down, but you can still choose your frozen yogurt base and mix-ins. 
  • Yogurtland: Yogurtland basically took over self-serve froyo in California and they expanded to other states and countries. There are more than 320 locations. 
  • Pinkberry: Pinkberry started the froyo craze in 2005 and was acquired by Kahala Brands in 2015. 
  • Menchie’s: Menchie’s started in Valley Village, CA and grew to become the largest self-serve froyo franchise in the world. It now has over 530 stores. 
  • New Zealand Natural: New Zealand Natural was the only place on LA Weekly’s list that I never tried. It is a global franchise network based in Auckland, New Zealand. All the locations in Southern California have closed. They served scoopable frozen yogurt that could be blended with fruit and turned into soft serve. 
  • Red Mango: Red Mango had 8 SoCal locations when the article was published in 2009. Only one location remains in Southern California, the one near Staples Center. It opened in 2013. 

Two of the top 10 went out of business: Studio Yogurt and Pure Naked Yogurt. That’s impressive, considering ten years have gone by, and not many frozen yogurt shops or restaurants last ten years. Studio Yogurt was replaced by Yogurtland and Westfield Century City, where Pure Naked Yogurt was, has multiple froyo options (Bloomingdale’s Forty Carrots, Yogurtland). New Zealand Natural still has locations in Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand (but none in the US). 

I’m surprised the Bigg Chill didn’t make the list, since it was open at the time the article was written and has quite a following. Only two of the top 10 were self-serve, though Red Mango added the self-serve format in 2012. That's because the list is old and self-serve hadn't taken over yet.

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

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

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