Have you seen the new Yogi Frozen Yogurt that recently opened at 116th and Brooks School next to the Marsh plaza? This brightly colored haven of sweets and treats is actually heaven to “the kid” in all of us with 10 different flavors of frozen yogurt and over 40 toppings from which to choose.
This is not your usual Midwestern restaurant. At Yogi, you can have fun creating your own custom treat by following these four easy steps: 1) Grab a cup; 2) Fill with yogurt; 3) Add toppings; and 4) Weigh it. Unlike most places where you pay a flat price for a particular size of yogurt or ice cream (i.e. $4 per serving), you only pay 39 cents per ounce of …well, whatever concoction you have created in your particular cup.
Yogi operates on two levels, says owner Bruce Elscott, a former radio DJ on 104.5. “The kids love the candy, cereals, fruits and different flavors, while the parents appreciate the low-fat, healthy concept as they can control their portion size.” Some popular flavors are cake batter, cheesecake, chocolate (fat free) and butter pecan.
The experience is like building your own sundae, only a bit healthier. First, each six-ounce cup of yogurt contains only 2.5 grams of fat and 80 calories (except for the fat-free option). Secondly, the yogurt contains active live cultures which researchers around the world are studying for their potential health benefits such as boosting the body’s immune system, fighting certain cancers, and preventing not only osteoporosis but gastrointestinal infections as well. Lastly, the yogurt counts as a dairy serving with calcium for maintaining total body health.
Elscott and his wife and business partner, Lisa Weinmann, decided to venture forth and establish this particular enterprise when Elscott was laid off in December from his job as the morning show host due to the economic despair of the radio industry. After having worked in radio broadcasting for 25 years, he and his wife wondered, “Why can’t we start our own business?”
After much research, Weinmann discovered that this self serving concept of frozen yogurt is one of the fastest growing trends in retail, especially on the West Coast. While there are over 250 of these types of businesses in Southern California, this is the first in Indiana.
“This is a not a chain nor a franchise; this is simply a mom-and-pop store started by a local DJ and his wife,” Elscott said. “We have a good balance. I take care of the operations and building while she takes care of the books, ordering and payroll.”