They say slow and steady wins the race, and few Modesto businesses typify that better than the Yogurt Mill.
The locally owned and operated frozen yogurt chain is opening its fifth shop after 34 years in business in the Central Valley. Owner Larry Young purchased the new location on McHenry Avenue earlier this year. The structure just south of Rumble Road most recently housed Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and started its life some 40 years ago as a Taco Bell. The company bought the building and has big plans for the site in the not-too-distant future.
The new Yogurt Mill location will be be a combination yogurt and bake shop. Young plans to rip down the old building and build a new, modern cafe and bakery in its place. The ambitious plans should take about a year and a half and he anticipates a late 2019, early 2020 opening for the site.
Until then, the building will be used to bake goods for the other existing Yogurt Mill locations in Modesto on Roseburg Avenue, Oakdale Road and Pelandale Avenue and in Turlock on Geer Road. The baked goods are part of the Yogurt Mill’s revamped concept and menu and also allows them to better control the quality of their ingredients. So far they’ve produced homemade, gluten-free granola and have plans to start making more specialty items. Expect things like gluten-free cookies and other more “clean” products that use healthier and less processed ingredients.
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Young said it was a move made out of necessity. He had struggled for the past five years to find more healthful ingredients for toppings and other items from outside vendors. The shop prides itself on having a bevy of nondairy, gluten-free and vegan items. It also recently added acai bowls, made from antioxidant-rich acai berries and other fruit.
But just because they’re focusing on healthy items, don’t think they’re forgetting the more indulgent ones. Young said the bakery will also crank out traditional cookies and a selection of from-scratch pies. Expect to see pies popping up in the other Yogurt Mill shops in early 2019.
“I grew up in Modesto baking pies with my grandmother. I love baking. So this all fits in with what the Yogurt Mill is all about, with healthy and fresh and quality foods,” he said.
The Yogurt Mill started off humbly in June 1984 as a shop in Coffee Plaza, which has since closed. In 1989 they opened the shop in Roseburg Square, followed by the Oakdale Road location in 1993 and Pelandale Avenue site in 2013. The Turlock store debuted in 2015. The company has about 90 employees now, and will add another 30 once the McHenry Avenue shop and bakery opens.
Young said there’s no secret to Yogurt Mill’s success and longevity, just hard work.
“Myself and everyone who works at Yogurt Mill are passionate about the product and taking care of our customers. We’re just passionate about doing the work that’s necessary to take care of our customers,” he said.
Oh, and one more thing for you Yogurt Mill fanatics. Starting Monday you won’t have to wait in those inevitably long summer lines to get your froyo fix. All of its stores will offer delivery via the online app Door Dash.
Elsewhere on the Business Beat:
When the last Krispy Kreme in the region abruptly left in May, it also left a prime spot in Riverbank’s Crossroads shopping center.
Well now it seems the spot is being filled. A banner was recently hung on the vacant space announcing a Jamba Juice will be moving in soon. The sign reads, “New Name, New Vibe, Your Blend at Jamba.” No word yet on when the smoothie shop will open. Also no word yet on when the company will begin hiring, so check the Jamba Juice website for updates at www.jambajuice.com/careers....
And finally, looks like the brand new Burger King on McHenry Avenue is days away from opening.
The fast food joint was built from the ground up in the site of the former Teriyaki King, south of Floyd Avenue. Once open it will be the city’s sixth Burger King location.