Eau Claire’s sweet love triangle
It’s sort of like Candyland. The walls are painted with the brightest and most vibrant colors, there’s candy everywhere and it doesn’t require much know-how
We’re not talking about one place in Eau Claire; we’re talking about three new, unrelated frozen yogurt shops that have popped up in town this summer.
Frogiyo (331 Riverfront Terrace), Cherry Berry (2524 Golf Rd.) and Raspberry Reign (310 Water St.) have all opened their doors to customers within the last six months, offering their own variations on the
trendy, do-it-yourself treat.
“It’s just a really fun dessert idea,” said Peter Geary, co-owner of Cherry Berry. “You get to come in and eat something that’s healthier for you and make whatever you want. You have a ton of choices.”
Not only does a typical Eau Clairian have a choice between toppings and flavors, but they’ve got the ultimate decision of choosing one of the three new places.
It’s more or less capitalizing on a national trend. Frozen yogurt is extremely trendy, but so is being healthy, and fro-yo offers a more diet-conscious alternative to those seeking a cool treat without all the calories of your typical ice cream sundae.
“Yogurt’s a trend,” said Colleen Weber, the owner of Frogiyo. “It was a trend in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. I think right now it’s coming back because it’s interactive the way it’s being done. It’s not just food, it’s sort of
a little event.”
For the skeptics that think this trend isn’t lasting, even some of the biggest ice cream manufacturers like Coldstone Creamery, Baskin-Robbins and even Ben & Jerry’s are incorporating frozen yogurt in their product lines.
And on the business end, Geary said that it’s a lot easier to manage than most
“As far as businesses go, it’s more simple,” he said. “It’s not super complicated. You’re working with yogurt and toppings; you don’t have to cook things really.”
But don’t hasten to lump all three Eau Claire shops together. Though they may all share similarly bright interior design, with each fro-yo shop comes a different value.
For example, Frogiyo is a little cheaper because they don’t charge by weight, but rather by cup. On the other hand, Raspberry Reign is small, but it thrives on its Water Street location which garners significant student foot-traffic. Cherry Berry, then, has the most variety and flavors and is a franchise, which Geary said offers “a more polished product.”
Frogiyo was the first to open and has had to watch the other two businesses open with similar goals, but none of the three seemed worried that they’ll put each other
out of business.
Abbey Strunk, the owner of Raspberry Reign, said the relationship between each shop remains amicable.
“They’re all spread out, so I’m not too worried about it,” she said. “It’s just fun for families and individuals to come in to be able to create their own dessert (and) have
It’s certainly a strange phenomenon for three fro-yo shops to open just a few months apart, especially in a mid-size city like Eau Claire, but as Weber put it: “There’s plenty of business to go around.”
So get it while it’s still hot!