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The Frogurt Is Also Cursed
May 28, 2014 1:44 PM   Subscribe

A tumblr detailing how many businesses in NYC are now ...Fro-Yo places.
posted by The Whelk (148 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes, please save our historic bodegas.
posted by swift at 1:51 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


The prevalence of frozen yogurt places is as baffling to me as the number of mattress stores. Neither of them seem like high-demand businesses and yet they sprout up everywhere like mushrooms.
posted by winna at 1:51 PM on May 28 [24 favorites]


That's bad.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:51 PM on May 28 [19 favorites]


And soon enough the froyo franchisee will fold and fuck off and some other restaurant or business will open. Oh, the cultural wasteland, etc.
posted by planetesimal at 1:51 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Heh, my ("my") old punk shop was a Pinkberry knockoff for a hot second. It's been an ramen place for years, now, though.
posted by griphus at 1:51 PM on May 28


I'm assuming that due to the main product being FroYo syrup and candy, and the staffing requirements being 2 or 3 people doing maintenance along with 1 or 2 people on register, these things are dirt cheap to run.

Also the toppings contain potassium benzoate. (That's bad.)
posted by codacorolla at 1:52 PM on May 28 [8 favorites]


Can you believe that charming telegraph office shut down? #NowIt'sAFuckingMobilePhoneShop
posted by belarius at 1:54 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Can I go now?
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:55 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Dairy Queen is opening tomorrow at 10am. 54 West 14th!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:57 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Fro-yo is dead. Long live our new juice overlords!
posted by snickerdoodle at 1:58 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]



Yes, please save our historic bodegas.

for some of us it's the only way to get our daily cat-petting fix
posted by The Whelk at 1:59 PM on May 28 [14 favorites]


There's a froyo a few blocks from me in Queens. But it's closed like 5 months a year. How the hell are they making money?
posted by jonmc at 1:59 PM on May 28


We seemed to have a frozen yogurt boom here in Chicago that has subsided greatly. I can think of more places that used to be frozen yogurt stores than I can think of existing ones. I wonder if this will be one of those rarer-than-not trends that starts here and goes east rather than visa versa.

Or perhaps Chicagoans are faster to realize that frozen yogurt is not a valid ice cream substitute and never will be.

It's one or the other.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:00 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Fro-Yo places are so 2011. Currently trending in Stockholm are grief farms and subway station bodegas.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:00 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Grief Farms are too expensive to run compared to Weepy Weep's Cryateria: A Place For Weeping.
posted by The Whelk at 2:01 PM on May 28 [20 favorites]


I will support any excuse to say "bodega."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:01 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


I tried the Orange Leaf that appeared next to my neighborhood cinema, and was both underwhelmed by both the quality of the dessert and the princely sum I ended up paying per ounce for it. Was there a market-research study conducted where they found out that dumb yuppies would pay top dollar for the privilege of dumping butterscotch and week-old berries on top of plasticky soft-serve?

Given how froyo places seem to be sprouting up everywhere without an identifiable existing demand for them, I would not be at all surprised to learn that at least a few of them are actually money laundering fronts.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:02 PM on May 28 [15 favorites]


It is a bit alarming how quickly reality decided to follow along with the plot to "The Stuff".
posted by The Whelk at 2:04 PM on May 28 [12 favorites]


We seemed to have a frozen yogurt boom here in Chicago that has subsided greatly. I can think of more places that used to be frozen yogurt stores than I can think of existing ones. I wonder if this will be one of those rarer-than-not trends that starts here and goes east rather than visa versa.

Or perhaps Chicagoans are faster to realize that frozen yogurt is not a valid ice cream substitute and never will be.

It's one or the other.


I thought Chicago was a frozen custard kind of town.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:05 PM on May 28


There's a froyo a few blocks from me in Queens. But it's closed like 5 months a year. How the hell are they making money?

By accepting it in unmarked bags by way of the back door.
posted by griphus at 2:05 PM on May 28 [10 favorites]


There are 2 vaguely dirty looking frozen yogurt places in the shopping center near me, way back in the back, such that directions to get to them would involve "when you see the Jamba Juice, drive to the back of the lot." I wouldn't invest in them. This is LA though, so rather than uprooting bodegas, they've been displacing thai massage parlors.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:07 PM on May 28


I actually did a substantial research project on why fro-yo places are so pervasive. We didn't have a conclusive answer, but it seemed like part of the reason is that it's a commonly packaged business-in-a-box idea. If you meet with a certain type of consultant about opening a business, this is what they will recommend to you. The yogurt machine manufacturers create 'start a business in 5 easy steps' packages that they then sell to these sleazy consultants, who then go and sell to people who want to open a business.

It looks good on the surface--you only need one teen employee to run the place and the bulk of the startup costs go to--you guessed it--the machine manufacturers. After that you just pay your rent and buy some yogurt powder every now and then. Whether or not they make a profit, though, seems to be more dependent on location than some other business types since it's not really a destination. You just go in IF you are in the area and IF you happen to have just finished a meal or a movie or it's 90 degrees.
posted by tofu_crouton at 2:07 PM on May 28 [54 favorites]


> Given how froyo places seem to be sprouting up everywhere without an identifiable existing demand for them, I would not be at all surprised to learn that at least a few of them are actually money laundering fronts.

I think it's more that the clever froyo people make slick turn-key marketing/franchise packages for people with $50k to blow but no idea how to spend it.
posted by planetesimal at 2:09 PM on May 28 [5 favorites]


I think it's more that clever people make slick turn-key marketing/franchise packages for people with $50k to blow but no idea how to spend it.

Finally, a challenger to Subways.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:10 PM on May 28 [8 favorites]


Frozen yogurt is the carob chip of our age: not actually healthier than the real thing, just nastier.
posted by enn at 2:11 PM on May 28 [19 favorites]


What I'd like to see is a Starbucks --> fucking FroYo Place transition. Then we'll know that it's really happening.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 2:11 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Fuck it I'm becoming a grief farm consultant. WILL ACCEPT BITCOINS, AMAZON MECHANICAL TURKS AND DATING PROFILES AS PAYMENT
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:13 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


tofu_crouton, thank you for removing one source of bafflement from my existence.
posted by winna at 2:14 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


I wish there were locations on these pics so we could see where to get frozen yogurt in the city!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:20 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Wait, Fro-Yo is the accepted shortening of Frozen Yogurt now? I've been saying Frogurt for like.. 20 years. I can't change now.
posted by mediocre at 2:22 PM on May 28 [9 favorites]


here's hoping we've hit peak fro-yo
posted by photoslob at 2:24 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Location is hugely important. An Orange Leaf opened in my old town in such a prime location that they had lines out the door in the dead of winter. Other Orange Leafs in the area seemed totally empty by comparison.

Pick the right location (or in this case a totally undervalued location with the wrong kind of previous tenant) and you too can open a froyo place that's the toast of the town.
posted by fremen at 2:28 PM on May 28


Wait, Fro-Yo is the accepted shortening of Frozen Yogurt now? I've been saying Frogurt for like.. 20 years. I can't change now.

In my opinion, if frozen yogurt fails, it's because the appropriate name, frogurt, was not adopted (that's bad).
posted by MoonOrb at 2:28 PM on May 28 [7 favorites]




Fuck it I'm becoming a grief farm consultant.

We got several options for music depending on your own Crymosphere(tM), 80s ballads for Dad, sensitive downbeat pop for the teens, and of course selections from 69 Love Songs for the grad student set. Each one comes with a demographic appropriate Mis-R-E seat and S.O. S.A.D lamp options.
posted by The Whelk at 2:30 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]




I wish there were locations on these pics so we could see where to get frozen yogurt in the city!

I know this is a jest but if I exit my building and go literally in any direction save UP, I will hit a frogurt place within ten blocks. Sometimes two.
posted by The Whelk at 2:31 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Bunch of yuppies.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:32 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Frogurt sounds too much like its younger cousin Go-Gurt, and Go-Gurt is an abomination.
posted by tofu_crouton at 2:32 PM on May 28


Finally, a challenger to Subways.

I swear, new Subways are still opening up all over the place around here, and yet every time I go into one it's empty. Is this something I would have to go to business school to understand?
posted by Melismata at 2:32 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Wait, Fro-Yo is the accepted shortening of Frozen Yogurt now? I've been saying Frogurt for like.. 20 years. I can't change now.

A bit off topic, but I've been hearing "sammy" for sandwich recently. Maybe cutesy names for common food items are in.
posted by treepour at 2:33 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


I thought Chicago was a frozen custard kind of town.

Not really, though there are places you can get it. Kansas City and St. Louis are huge frozen custard towns (Sheridan's and Ted Drewes', respectively.)

Chicago is pretty much ice cream, though there's plenty of gelato about.
posted by eriko at 2:34 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


What I'd like to see is a Starbucks --> fucking FroYo Place transition. Then we'll know that it's really happening.

How long until we get the FroYo franchise in the Target or Home Depot across the street from the same FroYo franchise?
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:36 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I could totally see Duane Reade putting in those self-service frogurt handles.
posted by The Whelk at 2:37 PM on May 28


I think the only place I have ever heard Frogurt is in the Simpsons (that's good).
posted by sweetkid at 2:37 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Also great thread title.
posted by sweetkid at 2:38 PM on May 28


A bit off topic, but I've been hearing "sammy" for sandwich recently.

That was a thing a few years back. There was at least one fast food place that was actually using it (Quiznos?) on its menus. I blame Rachael Ray, even though I have no idea whether she actually ever said it, just because it sounds like something she'd say.
posted by Etrigan at 2:40 PM on May 28 [6 favorites]


#NoMoFroYo
posted by schoolgirl report at 2:40 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


this is also happening in seattle. it's been a running joke for a while now that any new "mixed used" 5 floor shittily made condo/apartment complex that pops up with absurdly high rents in its commercial spaces will ALWAYS get a froyo place.

there's like... 4 within walking distance of my office now.

there's an even more egregious area near the UW, in which i swear to god theres at least 6 within 3 blocks. Possibly more.
posted by emptythought at 2:40 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


We seemed to have a frozen yogurt boom here in Chicago that has subsided greatly. I can think of more places that used to be frozen yogurt stores than I can think of existing ones. I wonder if this will be one of those rarer-than-not trends that starts here and goes east rather than visa versa.

Fro-Yo also seems to be subsiding here in Minneapolis. One place with a prime location downtown recently became a donut shop and is now much busier. People actually want to eat donuts.
posted by Area Man at 2:41 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


'Sammy' is definitely Racheal Ray's doing, but Tom Haverford is not helping with his 'sammies,' 'sandoozles,' or 'Adam Sandlers'. (Sorry for poor youtube quality.)
posted by tofu_crouton at 2:44 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Also the toppings contain potassium benzoate.

More than mitigated when it replaces a tobacconist.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:44 PM on May 28


Call me a madman, but I like the yogurt purveyed by the Yogurtland chain. Good breadth and depth of flavors, decent toppings, not overly obscene prices—and the yogurt tastes genuinely likes soft-serve ice cream. They've really cracked the yogurt code, almost certainly by whipping in shitloads of sugar.
posted by Iridic at 2:44 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


#NaNoMoFroYoMo
posted by kokaku at 2:44 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Weepy Weep's Cryateria: A Place For Weeping

Waiting for the Liartown USA rendition of this....
posted by gimonca at 2:45 PM on May 28


In five or ten years, I bet you'll be able to buy frozen yogurt machines and beer brewing equipment for dirt cheap.
posted by Turkey Glue at 2:48 PM on May 28


Cupcake places are running a close second. I think one of the most depressing views of the economy I saw earlier this year was getting lost earlier this year in Florida Strip Mall Hell trying to find the right access road in a sea of parking lots less than 1/4 full with too many empty storefronts on a Saturday, but hey, cupcakes.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:48 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Wait wait, there's a doughnut shop in downtown Minneapolis now?

You all don't understand, we don't have Dunkin Donuts or Tim Hortons or Krispy Kreme here. It's one of those things you don't notice until you finally want a doughnut, and then do the typical 'oh, I'll just walk until I hit one, there should be one someplace' and then realize that there's none around. Sure, you can get gas station doughnuts and supermarket doughnuts and the occasional artisinal doughnut, but that's it. It's just wrong.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:49 PM on May 28 [7 favorites]


Naturally there's a Seinfeld quote for this, also reminding us Frogurt is still growing but we're looking no healthier.

"Thanks for ruining my daddy's business, you fat !@*#!"
posted by surplus at 2:50 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Is this a new thing in NYC? It's been true in Northern California for at least 5 years.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:51 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Oh the HUMANITY!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:51 PM on May 28


Both an Orange Leaf and a Chipotle recently opened in my neighborhood, which baffles me because it is already home to a better, less expensive local chain burrito place (Anna's Taqueria) and a better local chain ice cream place (JPLicks).

I blame the local undergrads. I blame them for a lot of things.
posted by maryr at 2:51 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Do people not remember when TCBY was the thousand pound gorilla of frozen yogurt...in the 80s? Letting history be our guide, within 5 years all of these places will be closed and if you use the term "frozen yogurt" people will get a quizzical look on their face and assume you are an insane person.

For the longest time I didn't believe it, but apparently everything makes a comeback, no matter how dead you think it is.
posted by wierdo at 2:53 PM on May 28 [8 favorites]


There must be a good FPP here somewhere, the history of small franchises and how they may or may not get run into the ground by corporate greed and/or naive owners.

Wierdo, I was just about to say exactly what you did about TCBY! (I was a Bad Person then for preferring real ice cream...)
posted by Melismata at 2:54 PM on May 28


TCBY AND its arch-enemy, ICBY (I Can't Believe it's Yogurt as I recall)...
posted by Mchelly at 3:00 PM on May 28


I just like that there is a Tumblr for every damn thing, and every combination of things. It's pleasantly Borgesian.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:01 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


I've lived next to three or four different shopping centers which were: a burrito place (Chipotle or Qdoba), a burger place (a Five Guys or an Elevation Burger) and a FroYo place (pick one). It was uncanny. Slightly depressing.
posted by codacorolla at 3:05 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Cupcake places are running a close second

My neighborhood has a consistent 1:1 ratio of fancy, precious cupcakes shops and elderly panhandlers.
posted by The Whelk at 3:06 PM on May 28


Six million ways to get diarrhea. Pick one.
posted by codacorolla at 3:06 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I used to bug the shit out of my friends by refusing to refer to it as TCBY, instead saying "The Countrys Best Yogurt". I thought it was the funniest thing in the world..
posted by mediocre at 3:06 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I used to bug the shit out of my friends by refusing to refer to it as TCBY, instead saying "The Countrys Best Yogurt". I thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

I had a friend who thought it was hilarious to call that one brand of margarine "I Cannot Believe It Is Not Butter." You two would have gotten along famously.
posted by The Bellman at 3:09 PM on May 28 [8 favorites]


As I remember TCBY was marketing itself as the healthy alternative to ice cream and tasted like slightly-off skim milk. The "new" frozen yogurt markets itself as "delicious in its own right" and has its own tart flavor.
posted by bleep at 3:11 PM on May 28


You two would have gotten along famously.

And taken hours to get the most trivial task accomplished in our utter steadfast refusal to acknowledge abbreviations and acronyms, I have to imagine.

I also used to say "Hell of" instead of "Hella".
posted by mediocre at 3:11 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


You all don't understand, we don't have Dunkin Donuts or Tim Hortons or Krispy Kreme here.

Dunkin Donuts was here....not that long ago? But not that many of them, and they're gone now.

Krispy Kreme disappeared after they started selling those cheap boxes of old, cold, congealed fat lumps of them at Target, which ruined their "brand" which was all about being fresh out of the oven. And then people realized that even the fresh, hot ones weren't that great. That trend went poof and they withered away.

I think the nearest Tim Horton's is in Winnipeg. Maybe Thunder Bay as the crow flies.

I miss the Cambodian family that used to run a surviving donut shop on Central in Columbia Heights, in a spot that used to be a Dunkin Donuts, with all the original recipes. They've been gone a couple of years; I think there's an Aldi on the site now.

But there's still Sara Jane's Bakery at 29th and Johnson NE. Trust me on this one.
posted by gimonca at 3:14 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Mchelly: TCBY AND its arch-enemy, ICBY (I Can't Believe it's Yogurt as I recall)...

And of course the sadly very short-lived NFWIHITY (No Fucking Way In Hell Is This Yogurt).
posted by hangashore at 3:21 PM on May 28 [6 favorites]


They sold tacos.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:25 PM on May 28 [9 favorites]


I could totally see Duane Reade putting in those self-service frogurt handles.

You mean frandles? Are you talking about frandles? I think you meant to say frandles.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:28 PM on May 28 [15 favorites]


I would be kind of surprised if they don't add frandles somewhere; the parent company is testing them out at their big three-story megastore in DC and as far as I can tell they're doing okay.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:31 PM on May 28


Maybe cutesy names for common food items are in.

Have you never been to New Zealand?
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 3:32 PM on May 28


Park Slope is out of control with the fucking frozen yogurt places. Every time a place closes one of these things pops up.
posted by Liquidwolf at 3:34 PM on May 28


tofu_crouton: "Go-Gurt is an abomination."

You clearly don't have small children.

(I'm not saying it's good for them, but it's little kid crack. Seriously.)
posted by Big_B at 3:34 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Well sure - basically liquid pixie sticks.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:35 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Dingle doesn't dopple while fondling frandles
posted by The Whelk at 3:36 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I know someone who opened a yogurt shop this year. He bypassed our charming little shopping district for a strip mall that is almost agressively out of the way. It can't be seen from any major road, so I forget it's even there. I assume money laundering is involved.

I did recently go to a Sweet Frog, where you get your yogurt with a side of the Gospel. I am a New England Episcopalian - I do not want Jesus mixed up in my yogurt, thank you very much. He is not a topping. It was a very uncomfortable experience all around.
posted by Biblio at 3:36 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


It's weird, just in the last week or too I spent the day wandering around a bunch of different neighborhoods and I thought to myself "who the fuck is eating all this frozen yogurt?? Is this a Christian yogurt-only-Friday kind of thing?"
posted by nevercalm at 3:39 PM on May 28


Wait wait, there's a doughnut shop in downtown Minneapolis now?

Cafe Donut is at skyway level in the Canadian Pacific Plaza at 120 South 6th Street. The family that owns the place used to have a Dunkin' Donuts back before the chain decided to close all their Minnesota locations. They kept their equipment and use it now to make their own donuts out in Champlin which they then drive downtown in the mornings.

There is also a Wuollet's Bakery location in the Pillsbury Plaza building, also at skyway level.

Finally, any serious examination of Minneapolis donuts should involve Mel-O-Glaze at 28th Avenue South and the Minnehaha Parkway. They have been there forever and for many years were the only people in town making donuts from scratch.
posted by Area Man at 3:39 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


He is not a topping.

A floor wax, then?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:42 PM on May 28 [9 favorites]


It took NYC about a 60 years or so but it's finally caught up with suburban America.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:44 PM on May 28 [7 favorites]


Though there could be about 95% fewer self-serve frogurt* places in the world, in a way I'm glad they've taken off. I was getting tired of pretending to like the Original Tart stuff at Pinkberry and its clones. I want my frogurt sugary, unpretentious, topped with eight kinds of candy, and available in gallon buckets**.

*"fro-yo" is too cutesy and I will not say it
**aka "fruckets"
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:52 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


This was a frogurt store
Now we just eat nuts and berries
You got it, you got it
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:53 PM on May 28 [9 favorites]


also in DT MInneapolis is Angel Food Bakery at 86 S 9th St above Hell's Kitchen
posted by djseafood at 3:53 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


I do not want Jesus mixed up in my yogurt, thank you very much. He is not a topping.

There's no wrong way to eat a Jesus.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:56 PM on May 28 [8 favorites]


Our local 16 Handles closed about six months ago. Now it's a fucking empty storefront with a Thor Equities banner in the window. Dot tumblr dot com.

We were kind of bummed when it went, actually. The interior decor was very Utopian Starfleet and there was an enormous television that alternated between the Disney channel and Nick at Night. It was like mainlining tween culture.
posted by phooky at 4:05 PM on May 28


OK, I'll bite: WTF is a grief farm?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:16 PM on May 28


Or perhaps that was a joke? I can't tell.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:23 PM on May 28


Frozen Custard > FroYo bullshit.

I grew up in Door County where a huge treat was Not Licked Yet. This was before Culvers became "a thing". It was the only place I knew of that served it at the time (I was young, we lived in a rural community). All we had was DQ and maybe McD's or Hardees down in Cow Pie High land. But when we got to take a trip up Nort' it was probably one of my favorite places to eat.

Now it's all Culvers this and Butterburgers that. That said, I'm glad, because I no longer live there and I can still get my frozen custard fix around the state (and they're even expanding).

Does pinkberry do this? I don't THINK so.

FROCU 4 LIFE! (can't believe I just said "frocu" that's almost as bad as saying "froyo")
posted by symbioid at 4:45 PM on May 28


I used to bug the shit out of my friends by refusing to refer to it as TCBY, instead saying "The Countrys Best Yogurt". I thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

This would have helped me a lot, because a youthful conflation of Aretha Franklin lyrics and froyo chains led to me believing TCBY stood for "Taking Care of Business Yogurt" until I was 22.
posted by telegraph at 4:50 PM on May 28 [19 favorites]


"I thought Chicago was a frozen custard kind of town."

Hazarding the eponystical ....

We live on Dove Bars and Al's Beef.
posted by Chitownfats at 4:58 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Frogurt sounds too much like its younger cousin Go-Gurt, and Go-Gurt is an abomination.

Say what you like about Go-Gurt, but that stuff basically kept me alive when I was flat on my back recuperating from wisdom tooth surgery and couldn't get a spoon into my mouth.
posted by Strange Interlude at 4:59 PM on May 28


Haven't been aware of fro-yo activity in London, but then it's not the sort of thing I'd notice as I (whisper it) don't much go for sweet things.

However, I think the concept is still having some issues bedding-in. Compare the initial landing page for this place with the pre-rebranding site that lies just beyond.
posted by Devonian at 5:00 PM on May 28


I met a guy who owned a fro-yo place a couple of years ago. He told me it's a cash cow business because you have easily inventoried items (powder and M&Ms), lots of produce which could get written off for "spoilage", lots of toppings you could buy off the books and you only need one staff member, in theory. He said this meant you could thus say you were running the shop, when you really had undocumented workers, and you could claim you lost lots of stuff to spoilage and machine breakdowns. He told me this made it ideal and then winked at me and said, "Which makes it ideal if you need to get any washing done. Better than pizza."
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 5:05 PM on May 28 [21 favorites]


Big Dick's Custard, opening 2016.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:10 PM on May 28


Wait, Fro-Yo is the accepted shortening of Frozen Yogurt now? I've been saying Frogurt for like.. 20 years. I can't change now.

If you had grown up in the '90s within 100 miles of Stanford University, there is a chance you would have been told in high school that the local student shibboleth was about getting fro-yo at the Co(ffee)-Ho(use).

Sources also claimed that they referred to the campus Memorial Church as MemChu, but I just... I just can't even.
posted by psoas at 5:26 PM on May 28


Maybe if my church opened a 20 flavor Jesus toppings bar we'd have more takers on Sundays. Consecrate those weird little jelly popper thingies. My mind has been opened to the flavor possibilities.
posted by Biblio at 5:48 PM on May 28


And of course the sadly very short-lived NFWIHITY (No Fucking Way In Hell Is This Yogurt).

IWSYDLADIYCTYBC: I Will Strike You Down Like A Dog If You Call That Yogurt, By Crom! Conan's brand.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:51 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Walking around our upstate New York downtown a couple of years ago:
Friend: "Didn't that used to be an art gallery?"
Spouse: "It's frozen yogurt now. Welcome to the new regime."

We reached Peak Cupcake in this area about five years ago, and froyo joints still appear to be ascendant. I like froyo fine, but I can't figure out who's eating enough of it to keep all these places in business.

At least the local Yelp reviewers are here to save us from having a subpar froyo experience amidst so many options: "Seriously, I'm not going back. Just because of the spoons. Do you have any idea how many frozen yogurt places there are in the area? A shit ton. There is no room for error." Interpreted with real feeling by Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews
posted by fussbudget at 5:54 PM on May 28 [8 favorites]


Dingle doesn't dopple while fondling frandles

is this cybersex
posted by elizardbits at 6:36 PM on May 28 [8 favorites]


I consult to a couple of companies that make the machines and I really don't think the boom was a conspiracy on their part. They kind of got blindsided by the sudden demand for freezers (esp. since a froyo joint uses 6x the equipment a DQ does)

That's not to say they're loving it: three shifts running balls-out on machines designed 20 years ago and fully R&D recouped. Total cash cow. And they know the crash is coming...

Come 2016 you'll be able to buy one of these toys for pennies on the dollar and run it in your garage. I'd get the 240VAC hooked up now.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:50 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


So. Pretty bummed I seem to have missed the Donuts in Minneapolis discussion but yes, Wuollets in US Bank Plaza (formerly Pillsbury Building) has great donuts, as does Angel Food. Sarah Jane's in NE is basically next door to me and has great donuts but for the love of all that is holy, please try their pie. The strawberry-rhubarb is amazing.

There seem to be a ton of donut places popping up around the city in recent years. There's on in South Minneapolis that my friend swears by - I think it's on 38th somewhere. Also a newish one on Eat Street and I know there are others I've heard of as well.

Fro-Yo also seems to be subsiding here in Minneapolis. One place with a prime location downtown recently became a donut shop and is now much busier. People actually want to eat donuts.

That place is in the building next to mine and you'll be happy to know that they still also serve fro-yo. They've just very smartly diversified to also offer donuts.

There's also obviously the fro-yo place in the IDS, which has a greater selection of flavors but no donuts.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:14 PM on May 28


symbioid wrote: Frozen Custard > FroYo bullshit.

This, a thousand times this. Frozen custard is most delightful. Frozen yogurt is a terrible joke, more akin to novelty poop than anything else.
posted by wierdo at 7:26 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


I just want to hi-five you for the thread title.
posted by Existential Dread at 7:32 PM on May 28



the local student shibboleth was about getting fro-yo at the Co(ffee)-Ho(use).

For a few years in the 1970s, MarCon* was held at the Ho Jo Mo Lo Col Oh No**.

Frogurt

I'm still trying to figure out how they milk the frogs.

* Multiple Alternative Realities, an SF convention, of course.
** Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge, Columbus, Ohio (North).
posted by Herodios at 7:37 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


My mom always wants to get frogurt. "It's healthier than ice cream!" she says to which I respond that while my graham cracker/cookies-and-cream suspension of peanut-butter cups and M&Ms is indeed tasty lets not go off on some delusional tangent here.
posted by The Whelk at 7:43 PM on May 28 [6 favorites]


It's no Ho Jo Mo Lo Col Oh No, but to this day it pleases me that when a couple of friends were driving to Montreal, passing through the area where I grew up, they found an exit sign that left them confused and asked me about it when they got back to Boston. Why, they asked me, was there a sign that read

BURLINGTON
SO BURLINGTON


What was so Burlington about it?!

Sadly, they did not ask me about So Barre Barre, but that's only really amusing if you know how to pronounce Barre.
posted by maryr at 7:52 PM on May 28 [10 favorites]


I am super grateful that when I moved from my old house a block away from a Rita's, i was lucky enough to move to a house within walking distance of a different Rita's. Their custard is outstanding, and when it's really hot and I have no other evening plans I can walk there, get a pint of half mango and half peach Italian ice, stop at the liquor store I pass en route if I'm out of vodka, and make Adult Slushies for the entire household.

I do not see the point of frozen yogurt, is what I'm saying.
posted by nonasuch at 7:52 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


Yeah I guess cheap operating costs + a thing you cannot order on Amazon...ergo, froyo. I don't know about ice cream, but it's probably healthier than those rice packing peanuts.
posted by Lardmitten at 7:53 PM on May 28


Oh holy hell I didn't realise this was a global phenomenon. They sprung up in Sydney about a year ago in completely unsustainable numbers. We're talking half a dozen shops along the main street of one suburb.

I appreciate that you've done some research tofu_crouton, because I've been wondering for ages how these things could operate at a profit. They're mostly empty and their pricing is rarely convenient--I went into one for a snack and they wouldn't sell a container that I couldn't fit my head inside.
posted by fonetik at 7:54 PM on May 28


Those are delicious fried, Lardmitten. Which, if your username means ANYTHING, you probably could have guessed.
posted by maryr at 7:55 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I would be kind of surprised if they don't add frandles somewhere; the parent company is testing them out at their big three-story megastore in DC and as far as I can tell they're doing okay.

Yep, the Walgreens at 7th and H (chinablock)! I assumed it was "well, we've got all this awkward space by the registers..." but test-marketing makes sense. I hope they continue to fill it with whatever food trend has already peaked, maybe some cronuts or ramen.
posted by troika at 7:58 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Finally the time has come to open my NY dream business, a combination frozen yogurt and cylindrical chocolate cake snack stand, novelty spinning toy outlet, and 70s boot boutique for hipster primates:

SoHo's FroYo Hohos,YoYos and Boho Bonobo GoGos (Etc.)

I'm worried the name might be a little rococo, but the business plan is looking solid.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:07 PM on May 28 [7 favorites]


The logo is a dodo
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


I live in a small town. Here's our list of froyo places. It used to be even worse. Hell, there's a TIMELINE.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:22 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


symbioid wrote: Frozen Custard > FroYo bullshit.

This, a thousand times this. Frozen custard is most delightful. Frozen yogurt is a terrible joke, more akin to novelty poop than anything else.


Seriously! When I was a teenager, catching a minor league baseball game and then getting some frozen custard afterwards was about the best fun you could have during the summer without doing anything illegal (such as scoring booze or weed).
posted by mcmile at 8:51 PM on May 28


Grief farm
posted by whir at 10:33 PM on May 28


I feel like FroYo would sell less if the signs said "Fat Free! But, you know, still like 2,500 calories all told with your pound of syrupy mush sprinkled with candy. Also the candy has fat (that's bad)."
posted by codacorolla at 10:36 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


In Providence, RI, everything downtown that's not turning into a yogurt place is turning into a hookah bar or, even worse, a "vapor lounge" where one may go to "vape" with other stylish people. (Most of whom I must assume are so shimmeringly beautiful that they have become invisible, since the places are always empty.)
posted by wenestvedt at 5:51 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


"And I went down my old neighborhood
The faces have all changed and there's no one left to talk to
And the pool hall I loved as a kid
Is now a [Frozen Yogurt Shop]"
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:12 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


He told me this made it ideal and then winked at me and said, "Which makes it ideal if you need to get any washing done. Better than pizza."

Ok, so, I live above what is, according to Yelp, more or less the most horrible Domino's on planet Earth. "My pizza was 2 hours late and arrived undercooked," etc. And everyone insists that it must be a money laundering operation, but why would a chain restaurant be more ideal than a privately owned place? Won't the corporate overlords figure out what's going on?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:29 AM on May 29


"SoHo bohos: 'froyo's no-go'"
-- Variety
 
posted by Herodios at 7:31 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


A bit off topic, but I've been hearing "sammy" for sandwich recently. Maybe cutesy names for common food items are in.


Sometime in the last ten years, menus and labels on prepackaged items in grocery stores started referring to them as "sandos" and I am so confuse.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:34 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


I'm worried the name might be a little rococo, but the business plan is looking solid.

I don't know, sounds only so-so.
posted by maryr at 7:49 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Iann's Cryin' Pub
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on May 29


Sometime in the last ten years, menus and labels on prepackaged items in grocery stores started referring to them as "sandos" and I am so confuse.

Our reality is veering closer to Liar Town reality. Good for us, bad for them.
posted by codacorolla at 8:35 AM on May 29


Yeah I reached peak yogurt last year, no moar for me. It doesn't really mesh well with the toppings and is an insipid ersatz facsimile of a glorious thing that seeks to convince you of its authenticity by presenting you with "mfgfmfgrrrg" topping buckets... An Oreo McFlurry offers more mouthfeel, flavor and balance than these by the pound abominations of American doofery: "this is healthy I heard, and once you give it the dessert equivalent of a gravy boat full of salad dressing, sort of tolerable but not really... Cause you got greedy didn't you, with your eight varieties of shitty shitty flavor mixed together forming fail crystals on a matrix of benzene rich toppings handled by toddlers fifty times an hour "
posted by aydeejones at 8:38 AM on May 29


I'm remembering the other froyo instance you find in the Twin Cities: miniature yogurt stations grafted to the end of the customer line at Leeann Chin's fast-food locations. They do hand out lots of little samples. I've never seen anyone actually get yogurt there, I'm fairly sure the mini-Oreos are in the same little dusty piles on any given day. If someone in corporate ever decides to pull the plug on the yogurt concept, they can always go back to their standard lemon chicken and potstickers and reclaim the counter space.
posted by gimonca at 9:13 AM on May 29


Grief farm

Well that totally clears that up.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:29 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Frogurt sounds too much like its younger cousin Go-Gurt, and Go-Gurt is an abomination.

Yes but Fro-yo sounds too much like "Frodo" and that is even weirder for me to contemplate.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:49 AM on May 29


Sometime in the last ten years, menus and labels on prepackaged items in grocery stores started referring to them as "sandos" and I am so confuse.

Did you by any chance move to Japan around 2004?
posted by dmit at 10:52 AM on May 29


In Providence, RI, everything downtown that's not turning into a yogurt place is turning into a hookah bar or, even worse, a "vapor lounge" where one may go to "vape" with other stylish people. (Most of whom I must assume are so shimmeringly beautiful that they have become invisible, since the places are always empty.)

It is happening here even though all that business is still highly illegal.

Personally I think it should always be illegal just so I am not tempted to burn to the ground everything with a sign including the TOTALLY NOT REAL AND ENRAGING FAKE WORD 'vape' that I encounter in my daily life.

Seriously 'vape' is the new 'moist' in the revolting word stakes.
posted by winna at 12:46 PM on May 29


In Providence, RI, everything downtown that's not turning into a yogurt place is turning into a hookah bar or, even worse, a "vapor lounge" where one may go to "vape" with other stylish people. (Most of whom I must assume are so shimmeringly beautiful that they have become invisible, since the places are always empty.)

There's a hookah bar in my neighborhood that I walk past on the way home from work and every now and then I see someone standing outside on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette because they're presumably not permitted to smoke inside the hookah bar. Which I think is pretty hilarious.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:53 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Seriously 'vape' is the new 'moist' in the revolting word stakes.

But more likely to appear in bad cyberpunk than on a Duncan Hines box.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:09 PM on May 29


Vaping is a thing.
posted by planetesimal at 1:33 PM on May 29


Here in Portland Vape Shops are the current Frogurt Bar. In any particular area of town, go on a brief walk and you will likely run into at least 2.
posted by mediocre at 2:47 PM on May 29


I read that near the fall of rome every other stall in the agora was a froyo.
posted by frecklefaerie at 4:21 PM on May 29 [7 favorites]


Seriously 'vape' is the new 'moist' in the revolting word stakes.

Really? I'd vote for "gluten" way before i'd vote for vape.
posted by emptythought at 5:09 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


When I was a child, I noticed that there were many signs proclaiming COIN LAUNDRY. And I wondered then, why so many people had dirty coins.

Today, when I look at a proliferation of businesses that do a lot of cash transactions, I'm thinking that someone is doing their laundry.
posted by SPrintF at 8:43 PM on May 29


I actually doubt that the proliferation of froyo shops is due to them being money laundering ops.
posted by planetesimal at 7:37 AM on May 30


My cousin has been threatening a Seinfeld-esque sting operation on Only8 froyo on the UWS for like 10 years now because he is convinced they are lying about their calorie count. I kind of agree with him that something not right is going on with them because they claim their yogurt is safe for lactose intolerant people, yet the main ingredient is whey.
posted by elizardbits at 7:51 AM on May 30


Seriously 'vape' is the new 'moist' in the revolting word stakes.

Really? I'd vote for "gluten" way before i'd vote for vape.


Mouthfeel

the word is lit'rally centipedes running up my spine.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:27 PM on May 30


Not much frozen yogurt over my way (UK), but bubble tea is finally catching on and seems to be springing up everywhere. It's the same sort of 'business in a box' appeal as froyo. It's sweet, it's a novelty, it's cheap enough to be an impulse buy for people passing by, but a generous markup on the supplies.
posted by Gordafarin at 5:06 AM on June 17


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