Villanueva, Long offer upscale yogurt
Entrepreneurs hope it will be love at first bite for customers
KINGMAN - This past week saw the opening of Frozen Yogurt Island, a yogurt shop located in the Home Depot Plaza at 3880 Stockton Hill Road, Suite 104. Launched by local entrepreneurs and longtime Kingmanites Nancy Villanueva and Lori Long, Frozen Yogurt Island is the latest in a series of upscale, self-serve frozen yogurt shops to spread through southern California and across the country over the past several years under such names as Pinkberry, Yogurtland, Cefiore and others.
"We love yogurt, and we used to go to all those kinds of places in Las Vegas and Phoenix and eat it, and we felt that Kingman needed something new, something good, and a place for kids to go to," Long said of their decision to set up shop here. "Nancy was born and raised here and I've been here since I was 10 years old. We really love Kingman and we just want to see a great place for people to have."
As with the above-named chains, Frozen Yogurt Island follows much the same model. When customers enter, they can select one of three container sizes - 8, 12 or 16 ounces - and they then proceed down a line of dispensing machines, each serving a different flavor. Customers fill their container with however many flavors they want, then proceed to a "toppings bar" filled with a variety of items such as fresh fruit including strawberries and kiwi, cereals, nuts, candies and sauces such as caramel.
Weigh and pay
Once they reach the end of the line, customers place their container on a scale, which then charges them by the ounce, in a system Long calls "weigh and pay."
"We offer 10 flavors and there's a variety of non-fat, low-fat and sugar free," Long said. "Flavors include cheesecake, cake batter, chocolate, strawberry, and we have a blueberry tart which is really popular."
Other flavors include pistachio, peppermint stick, white chocolate, alpine vanilla and "mango tango," though Long said she and Villanueva hope to introduce at least one new flavor every week or two, noting that similar yogurt shops in the Vegas and Los Angeles markets have flavors as varied as pomegranate and green tea.
Long admitted that it might seem a little counterproductive, or at least unusual, to open a frozen dessert shop in the middle of December. But, she argued, there is a method to her madness.
"Anything new in Kingman is attractive and everyone always wants to come," she said. "So we thought we'd bring it before the warm season so that by then everybody would know about it."
And despite being open barely a week, the reception has already been positive, with the volume of customers forcing the shop to stay open well past its scheduled closing time more than once already.
Frozen Yogurt Island is currently open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call (928) 692-7873.