Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another Self-Serve Yogurt Place?

It seems like as soon as one new concept comes to your area, within a year, there are at least 6 more. Take for example, cupcakes. As soon as someone opened a store completely devoted to cupcakes, they were then everywhere. Not that I am complaining, I love me some cupcakes!

But the newest trend is now self-serve yogurt places. I wrote about one last year called Moo La La (which is my husbands favorite place). We now have a few more in the area, all which opened within days of each other.

One is called The Yogurt Place, and it definitely didn't have the greatest opening day - it was so bad, in fact, that we might consider giving it one more shot before calling it quits on them.

Another one, though, is now my husband's second favorite and it is called Swirls and Twirls.

So back to the Yogurt Place. There was a corner store that received a banner over the winter that a yogurt place was coming called "Shake Cups," but that mysteriously disappeared a few weeks after it went up. Then a small sign called "Yogurt Place" took its place. In April, a local pennysaver had an ad for a buy one, get one free yogurt from there, expiring May 14. Well, May 14 came and went, and the Yogurt Place never opened. Finally, on June 3, I was driving past the strip mall on my way home from work and saw that people were going in and getting yogurt. We decided to go after dinner.

Honestly, I don't think they were ready to open. The floor was almost just like a cement floor, and out of about 12 flavors, only half were available. I also checked out there facebook page and they closed for a few days this past week, saying this: "Due to plan change midway through construction, the store does not match the original plans submitted. Therefore we are temporarily closed. Sorry for the inconvenience. We will be opening ASAP!!"

Hmm - they probably should have waited to open. The staff was all high school kids and they were borderline rude... the guy manning the yogurt machines very timidly said we could ask for samples and then laughed. At that point, my husband had already picked flavors because for 5 minutes he couldn't find anyone to give samples. He said the yogurt was just okay, he didn't love it.

The only thing making me consider going back right now is the fact that they had snickerdoodle yogurt a week ago and I really love snickerdoodle cookies, and no other yogurt place in the area has had that yet.

On to Swirls and Twirls. This place was definitely more together for opening - the inside was finished completely, and everything was shiny, pretty and the staff was well-prepared (except for one poor kid who told me they will never change flavors. When I commented on their Facebook page how we like the other chains because they change flavors, the owner was QUICK to tell me they will be changing and she will make sure her staff knows their info!)

Compared to our number 1 place (Moo La La), I thought their Dulce De Leche was better, but their Red Velvet Cake wasn't. They had pretty much the standard toppings with a few things mixed in we haven't seen yet in other stores like mini marshmallows, caramel turtles and some others.

One thing my husband doesn't love with Swirls and Twirls is their rewards program - it is all done via text message. Moo La La gives you a punch card to earn points toward free yogurt and he likes the tangible object to look at. I can tell you I don't love it either - in fact, we didn't get points for our first purchase because when it asked the dollar amount on the receipt, I used a dollar sign to answer. Apparently, you can't do that - well, it should tell you to JUST put the amount in, no characters. Sigh.

Anyway, I'm curious to see how many of these stores will "make it" and how many will be a passing trend. Moo La La just celebrated its first year here on Long Island so they are doing quite well. Let's see if The Yogurt Place pulls itself together (and if we try it again!) and how Swirls and Twirls fares in this new competitive frozen yogurt market.

What are the current trends in your area?


  1. hi- I tried the yogurt place over the weekend- I found the flavors to be limited but the chocolate and cheesecake flavors went nicely together. we used a coupon, so it ended up being about 3 bucks for two people which is definitely cheaper than Moolala. The set up is good inside because it is a square so you aren't waiting online forever to get yogurt, toppings, and pay. I asked them why they only have their coupons and deals announced via text messages since many people don't text; I'm hoping they will change that. I would try it again but only if there's a buy one get one free coupon. I need to try the swirls and twirls place..

  2. Yeah, I do like how The Yogurt Place is bigger than Moo La La.. but we went on opening day and it was BAD. Like, BAD. We will probably try it one more time. Swirls and Twirls is more open as well.

  3. I really loved Swirls and Twirls. Their "Atmosphere" was awesome. The seating was great. They really put together a nice store. My husband and I used the text messaging system and it worked fine. (much better than punch cards. I always lose them) Swirls and Twirls gives you 2 free ounces just for joining their rewards program. They also give you a free yogurt for every $30 you spend. (about 5-6 yougurts) The place in Merrick was 10 yogurts (about $50). The parking is conveinent at Swirls and Twirls and the staff is very helpful.

  4. Swirls & Twirls has changed their txting stuff now, they just ask you for your cell number & they add it. Also they do change their flavors cause currently they have a pumpkin flavor. I haven't been there in a while & I got a 6 ounces off txt coupon.

    My friends & I checked out The Yogurt Place over by Mill Pond. My 1st friend wasn't happy with it, she totally enjoyed Swirls & Twirls more because there's more flavors.

  5. By the way, have you tried NITRO Ice Cream yet?

  6. We did try NITRO. I meant to post on it about a month ago, but haven't, yet.