Over the years, the concept of concocting one’s own treat by twisting and twirling various flavors of frozen yogurt with an assortment of toppings has captured the stomachs and taste buds of many health-conscious U.S. consumers.
This weekend, East Windsor jumped ahead of the game with the opening of Let’s YO! East Windsor, a futuristic-looking, all-natural frozen yogurt shop that marries a local hang-out atmosphere with technology and healthy dessert options.
“There’s something here for everyone,” said franchise owner Jim Emrich.
Like many frozen yogurt shops before it, Let’s YO! specializes in nutritious frozen yogurt made from fresh dairy and fruit purees, as well as healthy toppings such as fresh strawberries, blueberries, and bananas, and other toppings like chocolate covered pretzels, gummy worms, or granola, all situated in self-serve stations.
Flavor offerings can range anywhere from classic chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, to pumpkin pie, pink lemonade sorbet, and pomegranate energy, which comes with a vitamin boost formulation.
Unique to the frozen yogurt industry, however, Let’s YO! is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the shop offers dark, light, and decaf brews of coffee. Let’s YO! opens every day at 11 a.m., and closes no earlier than 10 p.m.–midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
“It’s somewhere for the families to come,” Emrich said. “It’s a destination.”
Emrich said he was drawn to the company because Let’s YO! offers a healthy snack alternative for people of all ages.
“The problem in America is a lot of these things are fast food and junk food, and it’s too easy to take the short cuts,” he said.
“We like the idea that this is still healthy, yet it’s a snack that you don’t feel guilty eating it,” Emrich said. “You can put some of the toppings on that aren’t 100 percent healthy, but it’s up to you to be as good or as naughty as you want to be.”
Emrich believes the business is poised for success with its forward-thinking business model, not to mention an ideal location right next to a movie cinema.
“We think it’s a really good location,” Emrich said. “We’re really happy with it.”
Within five weeks, builders overhauled the formerly dark and dingy location at 319 Route 130 North and opened up the space with bright colors, a tall ceiling, abundant light, and epoxy floors, Emrich said.
The shop is somewhat reminiscent of an Apple store–that serves frozen yogurt. The interior design is complete with Apple iPads embedded into its tables, which are hooked up to flat-screen televisions, providing a live, constantly-updated feed of the company’s social media networks. Guests are encouraged to interact with friends, family, and Let’s YO! through these platforms while watching their posts appear on the screen.
“It’s not just for the kids–the parents seem to love it too,” Emrich said.
Let’s YO! Yogurt was founded last year by entrepreneur and Retro Fitness owner Eric Casaburi. The company has 20 locations currently in operation and already has plans for an additional 50 units slated to open throughout the East Coast within the next year.
Emrich said there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday night with East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov. For up to date information on the shop, visit Let’s YO! East Windsor’s Facebook page.