Do you have to be a little flaky to enjoy a sweet frozen treat when the temperatures are in the single digits and snow is swirling around?
Of course not, says Derek Li, manager of Youtopia Frozen Yogurt, located at 3165 Navarre Ave. in Oregon. According to Li, there have been customers aplenty anxious to satisfy their sweet cravings since the store opened Dec. 2.
“I know some of the ice cream businesses close for the winter time, but people eat ice cream and frozen yogurt at home all year long, right? Does it really go out of season just because the temperatures go down? I don’t think so,” Li said.
Derek Li, manager of Youtopia Frozen Yogurt,
“At least that’s not what we’re seeing. On a recent day when the temperatures were in the 20s and we had lots of people come in,” he added. “You know what I told them? There’s one thing for sure, when you go outside, your yogurt won’t melt – you can take your time and enjoy every bite.”
Li, who his managing Youtopia for his family, which also owns China One Buffet located across Navarre Ave., and Sakura Japanese Steakhouse in Toledo, has been looking to open a yogurt shop for quite some time – much to the joy of his young children.
“My kids love ice cream, but it can be on the unhealthy side,” he said. “Yogurt, which comes in low-fat or non-fat flavors, offers a healthier option; it also seems to be growing in popularity, with shops popping up across the country.
“Earlier this year, when we saw this space was available, we thought it would be a great place to open a frozen yogurt shop to serve the people on this side of town,” Li said, adding that negotiating the lease and completing renovations on the former tax preparation office took three to four months.
Visitors to the shop are greeted by bright, primary “crayon” colored walls with complementary table and chair sets. (Even the spoons come in several different colors.)
Be forewarned…if you have trouble making decisions, allow yourself plenty of time when visiting Youtopia.
The first choice ¬– a 16 or 20 ounce cup to hold the frozen concoction you’re about to create using one or more of 10 different flavor offerings, which include low-fat and non-fat yogurt, along with a sorbet or other non-dairy choice. Recent selections include Strawberry Sensations, mango sorbet, cheesecake, cookies and cream, key lime bar, Bananarama, birthday cake, and chocolate and vanilla.
“Birthday cake is a big hit,” Li said. “And the traditionalists go for the chocolate and vanilla.” (Check each day’s offerings at www.facebook.com/Youtopiafrozenyogurt.)
Then it’s time to choose toppings. There is a heaping helping of healthy options, including fresh fruits and nuts, along with a wide array of candies, pretzels, cereals, chocolate chips and more.
“We can’t keep the mini-buckeyes in stock,” Li said. The mini peanut butter cups and Heath Bar pieces are very popular, too.
Pile on as much or as little as you want before you get to the syrup station, where you can add gooey pineapple, strawberry, blueberry, caramel and/or chocolate toppings.
At the end, your concoction is weighed. The cost is 45 cents an ounce.
“Because they control the size and all the options, the setup allows people to be as healthy or as decadent as they want,” Li said. “And with all the options, you can get something truly different every time you come in.”
Youtopia is open noon-10 p.m., seven days a week. For more information, visit the shop on Facebook or call 419-724-8989.