Anybody can sell a cup of frozen yogurt once, but, like many small business owners will tell you, you have to stand out and offer something different to keep customers coming back.
With the rise in popularity of self-serve yogurt shops across the Valley — where customers wind up paying only for as much of the yogurt and toppings they put in a cup — Dwight and Jan Cook believe they have a hand up on the competition.
The couple is mixing together their two loves: yogurt and classic cars.
Customers who walk into Cruisin’ 4 Yogurt near Greenway and Reems roads in Surprise will step back in time to the 1950s and ’60s, when classic cars reigned supreme.
Old-time advertisements of Corvettes, Thunderbirds, hot rods, Harley Davidson motorcycles and other 1960s-era automobiles are plastered on the wall, while three flat-screen televisions wax nostalgia with the playing of classic shows like “The Three Stooges” and “The Little Rascals.”
“People get caught up in the nostalgic feel,” Cook said. “For some, it’s like going back in time. They’ll remember one of the shows playing on the TV or enjoy them for the first time with their own children.”
The Cooks keep the same yogurt flavors in constant rotation, including banana, chocolate, coconut, French vanilla, Georgia peach, Irish mint, milk chocolate, passion fruit, peanut butter, pistachio, pomegranate tart, strawberry, tropical sorbet and watermelon.
Like many self-serve yogurt shops, customers can hold down a handle of the machine to combine two flavors, or simply dispense several different flavors into their cup.
Rather than scoop candy and fruit toppings by spoon like in a salad bar, the extras are stored in individual turn-style dispensers. Friday evenings are also a special treat for customers. Dwight, who owns several classic cars, ropes off portions of the parking lot and asks friends, family and customers to show off their classics to adoring crowds. More than 20 classics are often on display.
Cruisin’ 4 Yogurt, which is located at 15409 N. Greenway Road, Suite 105, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Happy hour prices are available Monday through Friday, where customers pay 32 cents per ounce vs. 39 cents during regular business hours.
Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.