Fro-yo, or frozen yogurt is a somewhat recent trend hitting the United States’ food scene. TCBY, The Country’s Best Yogurt, opened in 1981 as America’s first frozen yogurt shop. They immediately franchised and now have over 450 locations. The “recent” part of this trend refers to the number of copy cats.
The only TCBY close to where I live recently closed down. When I visited their website for information for this post, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It looked nothing like the store that was near me. They had obviously re-branded in order to keep up with the times.
Here is what they say on their website:
“As of 2010, we’ve remodeled our interiors and our brand to reflect our forward-thinking outlook on the future with a modern brand and logo, colorful palette and chic interior decor. We’ve been building a legacy of great tasting, healthy frozen desserts for the past thirty years and we don’t have any intention of slowing down or looking back.”
This was a great idea, because not only were they the oldest in the market, they looked it, too.
Compared to Pinkberry, perhaps the most famous of the “newer” fro-yo chains, they were extremely outdated, drab and less than hip or cool.
Pinkberry also happens to be where I was reintroduced to this fad. I’ve been to TCBY a number of times in my life, but first experienced Pinkberry in the LAX airport on my way to a conference after visiting a friend in LA. It was an early morning flight, I was exhausted, and just wanted something refreshing. The clerk behind the counter suggested I get the vanilla instead of the “original” because it is too tart. I asked for a sample, not knowing what he was referring to.
I actually loved the tart flavor! And come to find out, that’s a crucial part of the trend. Most estalishments refer to it as “original” or “original tart” – I had never had it at TCBY, I don’t even remember it being offered, but according to their website, “original tart” is in fact one of their current flavors.
Coming back to start Spring Semester on campus and upset that TCBY had closed, we were delighted to see that not one, but two new fro-yo joints opened right on Main Street. Admittedly this is poor planning and one of the two will likely go out of business, but for now it’s great to have them both here.
After asking our students and a few colleagues, we figured out which one was supposedly better and tried it out after a marathon day of doing work.
Yogurt City, with locations on Staten Island and in Philadelphia is now in Delaware, and we’re pumped! And so is the yogurt; it’s self-serve. You take a (giant) cup, and take as much or as little of each flavor that you want, add your own toppings and then weigh it. It is 45 cents an ounce.
I tried the Original Tart and Taro (taro root); they were both delicious. I topped it with fresh pineapple and strawberries.
I loved it, am super excited that they are right here on Main Street, and can’t wait to get it again!
Ice cream or fro yo?
TCBY or Pinkberry? Or local?
Favorite flavor? Topping?