Among the strawberries, animal crackers and sprinkles is one of modern day America’s newest fads: frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt franchises have sprung up throughout the United States in the past two years. Unlike most franchises, Yo Amazing, the first frozen yogurt shop in Northwest Indiana, was founded by two people from “The Region.”
After traveling much throughout the United States, Courtney Crozier, Valparaiso native and former contestant on Season 11 of “The Biggest Loser,” noticed the need for a frozen yogurt shop in Valparaiso.
Crozier then recruited the owner of Dairy Dip in Portage, Kevin Coppinger to join her in the new business venture.She then approached boyfriend and current Co-General Manager, Alex Respess with the idea.
“I grew up in Georgia where we have these (frozen yogurt) places everywhere. I was surprised there was not one around here. Plus, when Crozier sets her mind to something, she makes sure it gets done,” said Respess.
Similar to franchises, Yo Amazing utilizes the self-serve frozen yogurt concept. However, Yo Amazing is different because Crozier makes sure calorie counts and nutritional information of every soft serve flavor is posted. “We have it all posted, so there are no questions. If you’re in front of it (frozen yogurt), you have to be conscious about it. Moderation is key,” said Crozier.
Yo Amazing features a variety of flavors such as Pistachio, Red Velvet Cake and Very Berry Sorbet. “So far, our biggest hit has been cake batter,” said Crozier. The flavor of the month for March is Cool Mint, which coincides with the seasonal changes.
Customers are allowed to mix and match flavors and choose any toppings to put on their yogurt. After customers choose the yogurt, they move to the topping bar then the cash register, where they pay for their yogurt based on its weight.
Yo Amazing exhibits a vibrant, engaging 21st century atmosphere. The new hangout spot, located in the Valparaiso Marketplace, features couches as well as multiple tables for customers to relax and enjoy their creations.
The reception of Yo Amazing has been extremely positive so far. Students at Victory Christian Academy as well as many people throughout the area were pleased with their experiences at Yo Amazing. Senior Evan Longhi said, “Yo Amazing is definitely amazing.” Crozier and Respess were surprised by the quick positive reputation of Yo Amazing in the community.
Yo Amazing does not cater to a specific age group, but caters to everyone. “There is something for everyone and that’s the coolest thing about it,” said Crozier.
Photos by Nikki Geer