Opening a frozen yogurt shop in the Tilghman Square shopping center means more than a business opportunity for Alli Lipson and Sue Israel: It’s a long-awaited dream.
“Sue and I are really passionate about frozen yogurt,” said Lipson, who fell in love with the “healthier-than-ice-cream” confection in college and clung to the thought of owning her own shop over the past 15 years while a teacher and mom.
“It was always in the back of my mind,” she said.
Asked why frozen yogurt, Israel, a business major in college who once ran a gift shop out of her home, dishes the deliciousness. “The chocolate is oh so gooooood,” she coos.
When their Yofresh Yogurt Cafe franchise opened Sunday, customers found chocolate, vanilla and a dozen other flavors – not to mention more than 50 toppings, including fresh fruit, cereal, nuts and syrups.
And patrons can dip, dispense, sprinkle and douse to create a cone or sundae that best suits their tastes – something relatively new in the Lehigh Valley. After choosing a flavor yogurt and loading up the toppings, customers will pay according to how much the desserts weigh.
“We love the self-serve concept,” said Lipson, who with Israel spent several years researching the business and comparing yogurt shops across the country.
In addition to loving yogurt, the two friends from South Whitehall each has three children. The women like the flexibility the business offers them to work at something they love, continue to spend time with their families, employ young people and give area residents options for a sweet and healthy treat.
According to the company that makes the frozen yogurt, it contains probiotics and active cultures just like non-frozen yogurt, which can aid in digestion and a healthy intestinal tract. The yogurt will not be made on the premises but Lipson and Israel can come up with their own flavors to add to the menu. Options will include low-fat, fat-free and sugar-free.
The Yofresh chain, headquartered in Boston, appears to be riding a resurgence in frozen yogurt shops nationwide, yet these new owners say their store will be anything but a fad.
“It’s OK that others are cropping up,” Lipson says, “because we feel we have a great store and product…We are not a fly-by-night… We live here, and it’s special to us.”
They describe the décor as funky, comfortable.
“This will be the new destination,” Israel vows.
Yofresh Yogurt Cafe
Monday -Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: Noon to 10 p.m.