Follow a pack of college-aged girls decked in leggings and oversized t-shirts, gossip and laughing about their night, and chances are you’ll end up at a self-serve frozen yogurt place (or a Lululemon store). Here in Charlottesville, frozen yogurt has become something of a ubiquitous commodity, popping up everywhere from the downtown mall to the corner. No longer are people calling up others to get coffee or to grab a quick drink—they all just want to get some fro-yo.
Sweet Frog has, I will admit, become one of the staples on my list of social outings. Not only can you serve the yogurt yourself, but there are also a multitude of toppings you can select, ranging from fresh fruit to gummy worms. Most of the yogurt is healthy and low fat, and it is all relatively inexpensive (or you can just do as I do, and get a sample cup and continuously refill it again…and again). With locations on Barracks Road and on the Downtown Mall, Sweet Frog is a perfect location for an outing with friends or a stop on the way home from a dinner out.
Local to the Charlottesville community, Arch’s Frozen Yogurt is another staple on the dessert scene. With locations on Emmet, Ivy and the Corner (which is now self-serve!), Arch’s is an especially popular place for those looking for a guilt-free treat: the Wow Cow frozen yogurt only has 12 calories per ounce and (word on the street is) that their gooey brownie topping only has 100 calories per serving! Not to mention that they have a hotline you can call to hear the list of flavors being served each day at their Emmet location. And yes, I do make frequent use of this.
Competing with Arch’s on the Corner is the newly opened Berry Berry Frozen Yogurt, a local business that sells all natural frozen Greek yogurt along with salads and boba tea, a fruity milk based Japanese drink. And out in Pantops Shopping Center, Bloop frozen yogurt also provides a self-serve setup that donates money with every cup of yogurt sold towards their foundation A Cup 4 A Cup to provide clean drinking water to third world countries. Maybe it’s just a phase, but the boom of the frozen yogurt industry is a business expansion that I probably enjoy a little too much. Then again, we could all probably use a little more dessert in our lives.