Our interview with Yogurtland's founder comes and goes as quickly as a swirly cup of deliciousness. As if he isn't busy enough, Phillip has big plans for the team: They're moving! Leaving the home of ducks, angels and mice, the fro-yo headquarters is headed south to (drum roll, please) . . . . Irvine! It's the city of other food-service-industry giants.
While we did get a peek inside the research-and-development room, there's only so much we're allowed to record and capture for you Forkers. So for part three, we're momentarily jumping back a few years to discuss the very first Yogurtland, built into one of Chang's existing Boba Loca locations in Fullerton.
Read our interview with Phillip Chang of Yogurtland, Part Two.
And now, on to Part Three . . .
Originally created to help Boba Loca, Yogurtland's self-serve model was installed to see how customers would react to the concept. At the beginning, it wasn't that popular. Although the salad bar was commonplace, folks didn't understand the notion of do-it-yourself desserts. There was a store ambassador explain the process. After a couple of months, people became receptive, and Chang saw the potential to grow the concept.
A lot has happened in five years. With 180 locations, Chang has an impressive track record: only two store closures -- Hawaii and Mexico [Editor's Note: Perhaps because of the shaved-ice desserts?]. While one might imagine the company's growth as aggressive, he admits to being "crazy conservative," spending a great deal of time researching locations before opening a shop. In addition, it is the only frozen yogurt brand that has its own manufacturing plant -- further controlling the quality, cost and future of the business.
For all you Hello Kitty fans, the collaboration is back this summer! The story of the pairing of Hello Kitty and Yogurtland involved Sanrio's 50th anniversary. Yogurtland was invited to be a part of the festivities in Santa Monica, and it was a hit. From there, it was just a matter of time before adorable Keroppi spoons and My Melody's favorite flavor were introduced.
To close this week's On the Line, we go back to the future and get the scoop on the next two flavors in Yogurtland's ever-changing lineup: Blue Lychee Bliss and Almond Midnight Mocha. Both will be released on April 30. Blue Lychee Bliss is a tart lychee flavor with hints of blueberry. Almond Midnight Mocha is a rich, dark chocolate with hints of coffee and almond.
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