Yogurt Beach Comes to Gastonia (*update – Yogurt Beach Closes)

Update: June 9, 2012

According to the Gaston Gazette and eye witness reports, Yogurt Beach has closed, effective immediately. When they opened eighteen months ago, Yogurt Beach was the first frozen yogurt by the cup franchises in the area. However, since that time, Sweet Frog, Cherry Berry, and YoYum have all moved in.

BloggingTheSuburbs cannot validate the quality of the other three FroYo places, but reviews would be in order.  According to my son @ineedabandaid, “I want to go to Yogurt Beach!”  Sorry dude.

Original post: May 27, 2011

Get your sunscreen on, grab your surf board, and head to . . . Yogurt Beach? Not exactly. Instead, a new option for a tasty (and daresay healthy?) treat awaits you at the Gastonia Redbud Shopping Center.

Taking from the serve-it-yourself and pay-by-the-ounce, Yogurt Beach stands apart from the ice cream shops scattered around town. Instead of the frozen dessert being behind the counter, patrons grab a cup and pull the lever and choose (or mix) 10-12 flavors.

Next, stop by the toppings counter and add syrups, fruits, nuts, candy, or in my son’s case, sour gummy worms.

Head over to the register, place the cups on the scale, and the pay the $.48 per ounce. I chose a mix of non-fat, no sugar added chocolate and cheesecake yogurt, topped with with vanilla chips, brownie bits, crushed graham crackers, and cheesecake balls. My wife chocolate-vanilla swirl with cookie dough, brownie bits, and reese’s pieces. My four year old made a “suicide yogurt” with an assortment of random toppings only someone with a distinguished taste could appreciate.

Total price: $8.90.

Yogurt Beach Pros:

Very welcoming and enthusiastic staff: they wore crazy sunglasses, showed us first timers the ropes, and seemed to actually enjoy being there.

Health conscious: almost all the toppings were low in sugar, fat free, or all natural. Sure, it’s not fruits and vegetables, but it’s a healthier option than a Ranger Dog.

Price: Three desserts for eight something’s not bad. However, a Google search for yogurt by the ounce shows prices typically around $.43 an ounce, and as low as $.37.

Yogurt Beach Cons:

Deceptive bowl sizes: The  one size only bowls are much larger than you may think. Fill one up and you may have to take a small loan out. Be careful.

Way too many staff: Five teens were working this evening, where perhaps one and a half employees would do. One was tending the register, another filling up toppings, and another giving new patron orientations. The other two were trying on sunglasses.

The tip jar: I support tipping for good service or hard work, but I chose the yogurt, I chose the toppings, I put it on the scale, and the staff swiped my credit card. Sorry . . . sing and dance and I’ll tip you nicely.

Verdict: Not as good as the real beach, but worth a ride.

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