Sweet Tooth: Deep Freeze, Part II
By Tara BrewsterPublished June 1, 2012
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last two years, you’ve probably noticed the triumphant return of frozen yogurt, the sweet treat you thought went the way of the slap bracelet.
Natives who were at least out of diapers in the early nineties probably remember the time when frozen yogurt giant TCBY (The Country’s Best Yogurt) dotted the landscape. They opened their first business in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1984 and began franchising a year later. By the mid-90s frozen yogurt accounted for 10 percent of the frozen dessert market. Fro-yo was here to stay … or so it seemed. As the decade wore on, the frozen treat began to backslide and stores began to shutter, and then just like that, TCBY was gone, and frozen yogurt in Columbus was a memory.
A decade or so later, frozen yogurt is making an explosive comeback in Columbus. Sample these three new pioneers of the childhood favorite – just a few of the new frozen yogurt establishments in town.
3665 N High St.
Groovy Spoon has 21 different flavors, several made in-house, many of which rotate on a regular basis. Customer favorites include flavors like Salted Caramel, Fluffer Nutter, Cookies and Cream, Dutch Chocolate, and Greek Honey. There are over 70 toppings, many of which are also made in-house – be sure to try the Puppy Chow, as well as warm mini cookies and brownies from the oven.
Owner David Rabie said the new resurgence is just part of the typical trends of the frozen dessert industry.
“The reason frozen yogurt peaked in the 80s and early 90s was twofold: First, manufacturers finally discovered a way to replace the sour taste of frozen yogurt with a sweeter flavor. Second, the country bought into the notion that fat was public enemy No. 1, thus the temporary fall of ice cream. As the '90s rolled on, ice cream producers began to create low-fat and non-fat versions, while at the same time, new diets focused on eliminating carbs rather than fat. Fast forward to the mid 2000s – the health ‘fad’ is no longer just a fad, but rather something people are adopting as a permanent way of life. As long as people strive for a healthier lifestyle, there will always be a market for a healthy indulgence.”
10503 Blacklick-Eastern Rd. 700, Pickerington
Orange Leaf has over 35 different regular and seasonal flavors ranging from fruits to cakes, classic Greek yogurt, white chocolate strawberry, and brownie batter to name a few. There are 19-plus different toppings to sweeten the deal, and Orange Leaf is self-serve in 16- or 25-oz cups, so mix and match to your heart’s content. There are always events and community activities going on at the store, from senior discounts on Mondays to flavor-naming contests, and they’ll be celebrating their one-year anniversary this summer. Fans of the fabulous fro-yo should download the mobile app that will list current flavors and nearby locations with hours. “People want to have a healthy alternative for dessert – we all like desserts,” said owner Margaret Hansen. “You can make it as healthy or unhealthy as you choose, and there are plenty of sugar-free and gluten-free products as well. You can’t go wrong.”
3998 Gramercy St.
Yagööt always has Original and Strawberry flavors available and current seasonal flavors are mango and pineapple. Check out their website’s calendar for upcoming flavors and toppings. Two of their signature toppings include Crunch (cashews, coconut, and brown sugar baked together) and Yomance (dark chocolate croquants mixed with strawberry shaved chocolate). They also have fun offerings such as Whirled Famous Shakes and the “Saylor” – Orange Sunkist or Red Crème soda swirled with any flavor of yogurt.