Simply Delightful Yogurt is a magnet for college students, middle school kids and moms and their children looking for a sweet treat.
The yogurt shop, which opened in August 2009, is owned by Dorane White and her daughter and son-in-law, Brenda and Patrick Geary.
White said after losing her job in human resources at Mervyn's after the department store closed, jobs were hard to find. But her daughter had an idea.
"My daughter always loved the TCBY Yogurt shop, and after they closed she said we needed a local shop," White said.
The location the owners chose was in the Promenade shopping center, midway between Merced College and UC Merced, and just down the street from Cruickshank Middle School.
"This is a fantastic neighborhood," White said. "We love the location."
Making sure the shop is family-friendly is important to the owners, White said. On a sunny Thursday afternoon, one woman and her two children were choosing the flavors they were going to take home.
"The staff is just wonderful, very friendly," said the woman, who wanted only her first name, Jennifer, used. "We've even held meetings here."
White said the shop showcases eight flavors of yogurt and more than 30 toppings. At least one of the yogurt flavors is sugar-free, and there are dairy-free sorbets also.
The toppings range from cereal to nuts to candy. "The most popular topping is the rainbow sprinkles," White said. "For some reason that's what all the kids want."
Along with the staple flavors of chocolate and vanilla, White said each month there are a couple of new flavors. In March, those flavors are Irish mint and green pistachio, in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
The yogurt is sold by the ounce, not the cup, and customers fill their own cups and choose their own toppings. The little shop also offers free wireless Internet access.
Along with serving yogurt to the hungry, White's shop is also community-oriented. When a firefighter came in asking for donations to help with a fundraiser, White immediately signed up.
"We are family-owned, not a franchise, and we want to help the community," White said. "We want the community to do well."
And they'd like to do good by doing well.
Reporter Carol Reiter can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.