Have fun with your food
Do-it-yourself frozen yogurt now sold locally, drawing a crowd
(Top) Andrea Salcido, a junior at Hahnville High, scoops some fresh fruit onto her yogurt.
U Top-It Frozen Yogurt Bar on Highway 90 is a cool treat that lets customers have fun with their dessert, with do-it-yourself yogurt dispensers and topping stations.
And with warm spring temperatures showing up in the parish, the store already has some regular customers even though it has only been open for a week.
For those who have not experienced the trendy snack food, it became a popular healthy option across the country over the last few years because it is low in fat and contains live and active cultures. According to the National Yogurt Association, the cultures help with digestion, immunity, joint health and flexibility.
With flavors including cake batter, raspberry pomegranate, original tart, chocolate and more, there is something for everyone. Owner Lily Tran said that all of the flavors are low-fat or no-fat and some are sugar free. She plans to rotate flavors regularly, bringing in new flavors every couple of weeks. She has already rotated in two new flavors since opening last week: red velvet cake and strawberry banana. Visitors can also get their sweet-tooth fix with one of the over 40 toppings available, ranging from fresh fruit to cereal and candy.
In addition to yogurt, the store sells Snoblasts, or gourmet snoballs, smoothies and fruit teas.
"It's really a fun-filled eating experience and an awesome atmosphere," Tran said. She said that in addition to adults coming to the store on their way home from work, she has had a lot of students coming after school for some yogurt and studying.
Samantha Frickey, a junior at Hahnville High School, dropped by after school a few times during the store's first week of business. She said she has been to other frozen yogurt shops in New Orleans and Metairie before but that U Top-It is better.
"It's really good and I'm excited to have one so close to home," Frickey said.
R.K. Smith Middle student Trayonne Shelvin, 12, said that the vast toppings choices will bring her back for more.
Tran has worked in Boutte for about 10 years at Dr. Peter Glaser's office and saw in the community a good opportunity to open a one-of-a-kind shop.
"I was really scared and nervous before we opened because it's a big investment," Tran said. "But even though the economy is bad, my family said to take the risk."
And so far, that risk has paid off for Tran with the store having close to 200 customers each day in its first week. The business is completely family-owned and operating by Tran, her husband, Khoan Nguyen, son, Derrick Tran, 18, daughter, Kaley Nguyen, 10, and sister, Victoria Tran.
The store offers free wireless internet and Tran hopes to soon make the spacious upstairs seating area available for parties. The store also offers a rewards program in which customers can give their phone number when making purchases and eventually earn $5 off of a purchase.
The store is located at 13322 Highway 90 next to the Boutte United States Post Office location. Call the store at (985)308-1318 for more information.
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