A new frozen yogurt shop has come to Faribault with hopes of bringing a few twists to the traditional ice cream parlor.
Aside from the obvious twist — frozen yogurt is considered a healthy alternative to ice cream — the three men behind Berry Blast Frozen Yogurt will give their customers all the decision-making power of what makes it into their tasty treat.
“The customers get to choose whatever they want, no pressure, no guidelines,” said Matt DeVriendt, who owns Berry Blast with father and son team Pat and Mike McCauley. “That’s what makes this fun.”
Berry Blast will open to the public Thursday (today).
Fifteen self-serve flavors of low-fat and non-fat frozen yogurt line one wall of the shop, located in the middle of the Western Avenue strip mall. The rest of the back wall space is filled with bins of crumbled up cookies and candy bars, nuts, cereal, hot fudge and sprinkles.
The process is simple: Customers can grab a sample cup to try a flavor or two before committing to which one (or ones) get poured into one of three bowl sizes. Then, customers make their way to the wall of 70-plus toppings and scoop, pour and top to their heart’s content.
“We’re going to be telling everyone, ‘This is your creation, add anything you want,’” Mike McCauley said.
The price is determined by the weight of the bowl with the going rate 45 cents an ounce.
Similar frozen yogurt shops have been popular for years in states like California and began popping up in the Twin Cities in the past year or two. Pat McCauley first learned of the shops in 2009 while in Illinois for training before he opened his first franchise Jimmy John’s shop in Faribault.
McAuley stumbled upon a frozen yogurt shop with a small selection of flavors and toppings, and the idea stuck with him as a unique way to sell frozen yogurt. So when his son Mike McCauley and his friend DeVriendt were brainstorming new business ventures this spring, Pat McCauley immediately thought of bringing the fun concept of a self-serve frozen yogurt shop to Faribault.
But why Faribault? The McCauley family now owns three Jimmy John’s shops in Minnesota and Iowa, with a fourth just recently approved. They opened their first Jimmy John’s in Faribault in July 2009.
“Faribault has been so good to us, so we thought why not start Berry Blast here too?” Pat McCauley explained.
The three men visited about 50 different frozen yogurt shops before determining just how Berry Blast would be set up. One thing Berry Blast has that many other frozen yogurt shops don’t: A smoothie machine. At any given time, two of eight frozen yogurt flavors will be added to the machine to create a smooth combo.
With brightly-painted walls, a spacious seating area, televisions and other beverage options, the three men hope Berry Blast will become the go-to shop for the entire family this summer.
“The TV up front will probably have cartoons on,” Mike McCauley said, “and the TV back there, by the counter seating area, will likely show a ball game. Something for everybody.”