Saturday, April 19, 2014

Yogurt Yeti feeds the dessert craze

Lynchburg’s new frozen yogurt shop offers more than just fro-yo

The recently opened Yogurt Yeti may prove self-serve frozen yogurt has become a staple for Lynchburg.

Yogurt done right — Lynchburg residents have embraced the self-serve style of Yogurt Yeti where they can personalize their dessert by mixing flavors and adding as many toppings as want. The shop also sells drinks and a variety of yogurt-covered treats such as pretzels, raisins and almonds. Photo credit: Candace Gladfelter

Having opened Oct. 1 at Wards Crossing West, Yogurt Yeti offers 14 different flavors of frozen yogurt, along with a bar full of toppings. Just behind the bar in pastel hues sits bags of yogurt-covered pretzels, almonds, raisins and cranberries. To the right is a coffee machine which provides coffee, cappuccino, hot cocoa and tea.

“Our motto is excellent product, excellent service and excellent environment,” manager Curtis Cook said. “We just want everything we do to please the customer. That’s what we are here for. The value and attitude we have is positive and it’s Christian-based.”

Cook, with his friendly and upbeat personality, greets customers as they walk through the door. He is known to pass out samples of the popular pretzels, from which cinnamon is his favorite flavor.

“I just enjoy working here. I am blessed to be here,” Cook said.

As for the shop itself, owner Patrick Neff’s son, a 15-year-old at Liberty Christian Academy, came up with the idea and created the logo and color-design. A family brainstorm brought about the name. Needing a word to match “yogurt,” the family chose “yeti,” which means abominable snowman. For a mental picture, Cook reminds customers of the old animated Christmas movie Rudolph with the classic furry abominable snowman.

In comparison to the competition in town, Yogurt Yeti aims to keep a more upscale feel. The dress of the employees is semi-formal and sitting outside offers the perk of an outdoor fireplace. Another difference, according to Cook, is the yogurt machines are cooled by a water system that helps keep the yogurt from getting warm, milky or watery.

“I loved going in there. They have a smaller selection of yogurt compared to a nearby competitor, but my experience was great. The people are extremely friendly. I would recommend going there to anyone,” senior Madison White said.

Frozen yogurt is a healthier choice compared to ice cream and Yeti’s provides a relaxed and fun way to socialize with friends. The most popular flavor is the raspberry pomegranate, which has a bit of a tangy taste.

“Pretty much all of our products in a 5-oz. cup are 100 calories or less. Whatever else you do when you get to the bar, that’s on you,” Cook said.

Yogurt Yeti caters to Liberty by offering to stay open for Tuesday night prayer groups or hall meetings. Also, Flames Cash will soon be accepted. Students at Liberty Christian Academy can use cards at Yogurt Yeti where 10 percent of each sale will be donated to gather school supplies for the community.

“Patrick, in his own words, is a visionary. With this shop, he wants to do more for the community than just a yogurt shop, but also to spread the Word of God,” Cook said.

Yogurt Yeti is located in Wards Crossing West at 225D Simons Run Road, next to Ross. Follow Yogurt Yeti on Facebook or Twitter. For more information, visit their website at yogurtyeti.com.

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