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Eateries are betting that we go for froyo
The frozen yogurt trend is heating up in Fredericksburg

 The former non-smoking section of Sammy T's has been converted into a self-serve frozen yogurt shop.
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Date published: 5/13/2011

By Cathy Jett

THE HIP, health-conscious frozen yogurt trend is catching on in Fredericksburg.

The latest entry in the field is Sammy T's, which just started selling the tasty treat Tuesday in its former non-smoking section.

"It's a perfect fit," president Emory Rogers said of the restaurant at 801 Caroline St. "It's healthy, and Sammy T's has been serving healthy food for 30 years."

The old non-smoking section, which has its own entrance off Hanover Street, has been renamed Sammy T's Frozen Yogurt. The exterior has been painted cotton-candy pink and given a bright pink-and-white awning, while the interior is now pink and green and features soda-fountain-style tables and chairs.

"We wanted to come up with a logo that went with the front of the restaurant, but had colors that are completely different," Rogers said.

Patrons serve themselves from machines dispensing 10 different flavors of frozen yogurt from a rotating list 70 and can add any of the 40 toppings--which include fresh fruit and candy bar chunks. Then they weigh each generously sized cup at the cash register and pay 45 cents per ounce.

"One of the primary reasons this trend has taken off, besides the fantastic flavors, is that someone else isn't serving this to you," Rogers said. "You get to choose your own destiny."

Frozen yogurt--"froyo" to fans--has been trendy for several years. Restaurants and Institutions magazine named it one of its "Big Menu Ideas for 2009" and National's Restaurant News named franchiser Red Mango as one of its five "hot concepts" for that same year.

Lynda Utterback, executive director of the National Ice Cream Retailers Association, noted that the cool dessert was hot in the early 1980s at places such as TCBY, and attributes froyo's resurgence to concerns about obesity in America. That's whetted appetites for foods that are lower in both fat and calories, plus have health benefits such as probiotics.

"Everybody wants to capitalize on healthy eating these days," she said. "I think that's why it's coming back."

Froyo made its first appearance in Fredericksburg back in October, when Salad Creations opened in Eagle Village. It was the chain's first location to have a Red Mango frozen yogurt franchise inside. Customers have their pick of four types of froyo and dozens of toppings.

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