• December 19, 2014

Spotlight on small business At KD Frozen Yogurt, customers get treats their way

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Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012 4:30 am | Updated: 9:07 pm, Sat Aug 3, 2013.

On any given day, KD Frozen Yogurt is likely to offer a flavor of yogurt most people would never dream of. One week it might be raspberry lemonade and the next it could be s’mores yogurt that actually tastes like real s’mores. And the mad mixmaster behind it all is the locally owned store’s manager, Elvia Rivera, a self-taught yogurt maven.

“This is the first time I have ever worked in the yogurt industry,” Rivera said. “I didn’t have a clue when they hired me. They threw me in here, gave me some manuals for the machines, and I was on my own. I learned how to use the machines on my own. I learned how to make the yogurt on my own through a lot of trial and error. I never imagined I would be doing this. The only yogurt I even knew about before was the kind they sell at the grocery store.”

Rivera has been running the store since it opened in December 2010. She changes out the flavors regularly and is always on the lookout for new treats for her customers.

“I change all the flavors out every two weeks,” she said. “I spend a lot of time surfing the net or looking at what other yogurt shops are doing to get new ideas. If I see something I like, I look for the recipe online. If I can’t find it, I figure it out through trial and error.”

S’mores was a particularly tough flavor to get right, Rivera said.

“For the s’mores, of course you have the chocolate and the vanilla,” she said. “You have to grind up your graham crackers. You have to add whipped marshmallow. I tried making it according to a recipe, but the customers did not like it. It needed more marshmallow and graham crackers to make it actually taste like s’mores.”

Like most contemporary yogurt shops, KD yogurt operates on what amounts to a buffet system. Customers serve themselves, choose from the more than 50 available toppings and pay by the weight. Rivera said this gives customers the freedom to make yogurt their way and operate the shop with four employees.

“The advantage is the customers can make it exactly the way they want it,” Rivera said. “They can put a layer of yogurt, a topping, a layer of yogurt and then more toppings. I have seen customers do all kinds of things.”

And customers’ desire to do exactly what they want extends to the crepes KD Yogurt serves as well.

“You can choose any of our toppings and we will make it in a crepe,” Rivera said. “I once made a peanut butter cup crepe with gummy bears and gummy worms. And believe it or not, it was an adult who ordered it.”

“I didn’t try it,” she added with a laugh.

KD Yogurt will celebrate its second anniversary on Dec. 8, and Rivera has a special offer planned.

“All of the yogurt places in the area charge 49 cents an ounce,” she said. “For two weeks, we will be selling our yogurt for 44 cents an ounce to celebrate our two-year anniversary.”

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