POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2008:
So Fresh, So Cool
Satisfy your craving for something chill during summer's final days
Palette for the Palate. The FreshBerry Tart taste is the "true, naked flavor of real yogurt," said a FreshBerry spokesman. He added that the "tang" I experienced has not been "masked by loads of sweeteners or flavors."
Warm summer months cause cravings for cool eats and drinks. A new establishment able to satisfy heat-of-summer cravings is FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt Café, occupying a tiny spot in a strip center on the northeast corner of 111th and South Memorial in Bixby.
FreshBerry is the latest addition to the Beautiful Brands conglomerate spearheaded by David and Camille Rutkauskas, which also includes Camille's Sidewalk Café and Coney Beach, which sits next door to FreshBerry. Since the January 2008 opening, FreshBerry has grown to include more than 25 locations across the United States.
It was a hot Sunday afternoon when my friend and I headed south from midtown to check out this new yogurt place. It was a long drive, and we were eager to arrive in Bixby. FreshBerry is bright and cheery in appearance. Clean, vibrant and refreshing are three words that come to mind. The three-person, behind-the-counter staff must have sensed the perplexed look on our faces when we entered.
"Is this your first time in?" one of them asked. There was no denying that fact. I said, "Yes, tell us about FreshBerry." The most gregarious of the three proceeded to explain the concept, and reviewing the menu confirmed that only two flavors are available: FreshBerry Tart and Decadent Dark Chocolate. This made our decision easy. I would go with the tart; my friend the chocolate.
Paul Ross, a spokesperson for FreshBerry, said that, yes, FreshBerry just has two signature flavors, which serve as the "foundation, really on opposite ends of the flavor scale," for toppings to be mixed in with the yogurt.
One is "lightly sweetened with a natural real yogurt taste, totally new and unique. The other, Decadent Dark Chocolate, has a sinfully rich flavor, almost like frozen chocolate pudding," Ross said. He added that both flavors are all-natural and have live, active yogurt cultures.
Sizes are kids', $3.19; regular, $3.99 and large, $4.99. These prices include up to three toppings, which may be any of the following: almond, walnut, gum drops, Oreo, M&M's, granola, gummy bears, coconut, graham cracker, Andes Chocolate Mints, Captain Crunch, milk chocolate chips, Fruity Pebbles and white chocolate chips.
Fresh fruit toppings include strawberry, pineapple, kiwi, mango, banana, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, cranberry and mandarin orange. I ordered a regular with kiwi, mandarin orange and mango. My friend ordered the kids' size of chocolate with banana and coconut as toppings. We seated ourselves at a table and dug into our yogurt treats. My FreshBerry Tart was vibrant and exciting. The cultures were quite active, energizing each bite. This was a refreshing, almost tingling experience for the mouth. It definitely was a new "tart" flavor and taste for me.
Ross said this taste is the "true, naked flavor of real yogurt." He added that the "tang" I experienced has not been "masked by loads of sweeteners or flavors."
"This creates a product that is refreshing and clean tasting," he said. This frozen yogurt is not burdened with sugar, fat and unneeded calories.
My friend's Decadent Dark Chocolate was good, but not as good in my estimation (or my friend's) as the FreshBerry Tart. It was like "frozen chocolate pudding," but it was similar in taste to other cold chocolate products we have had in the past. It was extremely smooth and rich.
Other menu items include Fresh Pops ($2.19) and Smoothies ($4.99, 20 oz.).
"FreshPops are exclusive to FreshBerry," said Ross, "and are made with our all-natural yogurt and fruits. They're a low fat, low calorie treat."
He said an avid customer base for these so far has been children and moms, who will come in and buy multiple FreshPops to keep them stocked in the home freezer. The smoothies can come with the customer's choice of two fruits; additional toppings are 79 cents each.
So, what's so different about FreshBerry? Ross claims FreshBerry is the "reinvention of frozen yogurt." He says the product is "not weighed down, and your toppings are completely customizable." The fruits are cut fresh, he added, and the company plans to feature locally grown produce in upcoming seasonal rotations.
"It's nice to provide our customers with locally grown produce when it's available, not only for the freshness aspect, but to support our local growers as well," he said.
FreshBerry continues to expand into the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, Dallas and Ft. Worth, and, in Oklahoma, in Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Jenks. Soon, the Jenks location will open in the new Riverview shopping area.
FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt Café
11085 S. Memorial Dr.
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