Local startup chain Yogo Factory sells tasty treats in Rio Grande
September, 2011 - Press of Atlantic City
From 2-year-old Sienna McCarthy to 65-year-old Bob Czumbil, quite a crowd seems to approve of the newly opened Yogo Factory in the Rio Grande section of Middle Township.
Holding a spoon to his big bowl of frozen yogurt - a mix of Alpine Vanilla, Red Velvet Cake, Dulce de Leche and Cookie and Cream topped with fresh blueberries and white yogurt chip morsels - Czumbil, of Lower Township, said he has been hearing rave reviews about Yogo Factory, which opened a location in Rio Grande on Aug. 20. So he stopped by to judge for himself.
One spoonful in, he held two thumbs up in approval.
The same positive reaction came from Sienna, who was too busy enjoying her Hershey's Kisses Chocolate-flavored frozen yogurt - with lots of rainbow sprinkles on top - to give a statement, but nodded in approval instead.
"That face says it all," said Sienna's mother, Katrina Prodan, 22, of Cape May, referring to her daughter's chocolate-covered smile. "I brought her here because everyone has been talking about this place saying, 'You have to go to Yogo Factory,'" Prodan said.
The Rio Grande location of Yogo Factory, 3301 Route 9 South, next to Island Sun Tanning and Starbucks in the Grande Plaza, is the companies second spot. Their first Yogo Factory location opened July 20 in Galloway Township in the Risley Square Plaza next to Dunkin' Donuts and across from the Municipal Complex.
Both locations offer free WiFi making Yogo Factory a cafe-like atmosphere where visitors can sit for a while.
The company modeled Yogo Factory after the trendy build-your-own frozen yogurt places popping up on the West Coast, owners said. Frozen yogurt is said to be a healthier treat than ice cream, with 3 grams of fat or less per serving, as well as live and active cultures - but it tastes just as good as ice cream.
"More people are health-conscious these days," the company spokes person said. "There wasn't really something like this in the area."
The company believes frozen yogurt's healthy reputation means customers come in more often than they would if it were an ice cream shop.
"People don't feel bad for a week after they eat it," they said. "Actually, they feel good about it."
Yogo Factory offers 14 flavors at a time, with more than 50 daily toppings - from pieces of kiwi and berries to walnuts and Captain Crunch cereal, bits of mint chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles and crushed Oreos, to name a few.
"You can make about 5,000 different sundae combos," the company spokes person said, "as many and as much as you want."
The frozen yogurt is priced by weight, 59 cents per ounce. This fall, the Yogo Factory will introduce a line of seasonal flavors, including eggnog, peppermint stick, spiced apple pie and pumpkin pie. The two current locations have been seeing about 2,000 customers per day, the company spokes person said, and many are repeat customers.
By the end of 2011, they plan to open another Yogo Factory in Egg Harbor Township, and their website, yogofactory.com, says they plan to open more in Somers Point, Linwood, Manahawkin, Toms River, Belmawr, Cherry Hill, Sicklerville, Philadelphia and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
"Word's traveling, people are saying good things, our Facebook likes have been increasing by the hour," the company spokes person said. "It's been great."
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