From new ice cream to state honors, there’s a lot happening at Chosen Yogurt, and this summer’s a great chance to check it all out.
Ice Cream with a Local Connection
I’m sure no one has noticed, but it’s hot outside. Many Fresnans run away to the coast when it’s a tad warm, but after Craig gave us all that stern talking to about being whiners, it’s probably best to stick around for a few days to work on our stamina.
Naturally, nothing says “I can beat this heat” like frozen treats. And if you’re really yearning for frozen treats with a coastal flair, there’s only one place in town to get it. Chosen Yogurt has just recently begun serving up Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream. It’s the only place in the Valley where you can snag a scoop of Doc’s ice cream.
If you’ve never tasted it, you’ll need to remedy that soon. Doc’s founder Greg Steinburger uses fresh cream from Top O’ The Morn farms in Tulare, so this ice cream has come full circle: from the Valley and now served in the Valley.
According to Chosen Yogurt’s owner Ron Lichti, the most popular flavor is Motor Oil. Despite its mechanical title, it’s filled with chocolate goodness and Khalúa, which is a coffee-based liqueur. Sea Salt Caramel and Birthday Cake are also wildly popular flavors.
Chosen Yogurt plans on rotating ice cream flavors as they do with their yogurts, sorbets, and Italian ices. Additionally, the topping bar is available for customized sundaes and ice cream creations. If you prefer cones over cups, there are sugar and cake style cones, but there are also waffle cones available which you can have dipped in chocolate. It’s basically an ice cream connoisseur’s dream. If you’re in a rush, you can also grab an ice cream cake or a brownie sandwich.
Small Business of the Year
Amazingly, Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab isn’t the only exciting thing to hit Chosen Yogurt this month. They were also selected as 2017 Small Business of the Year by Assemblyman Jim Patterson.
According to Assemblyman Patterson, “This is an opportunity to recognize businesses that are outstanding and do a wonderful service for their customers, but also we get the opportunity of finding and honoring special family businesses, and we could not think of a better or more significant family business. I was really touched by Chosen because of the story.”
The story is this: in 2013, Rod and Kim Lichti opened Chosen Yogurt as a way to give back to their community. Before opening the store, Rod spent 30 years on the Clovis Police Department. Over the past four years, the Lichtis developed close ties with non-profits in the Fresno community and beyond. They worked with City Without Orphans and also shed light on kids in the local foster care system by sharing their stories in the shop. Adoption and orphan care are close to Rod and Kim’s heart, having two daughters of their own through adoption.
Rod Lichti explains, “We’re not a national chain with a lot of flex in the bottom line, but from the very start we knew that giving back to the community was the heart of what we wanted to do. We’re a part of this community (and have been for three generations) and investing in groups who have vision and passion is important to us! We know what it’s like to have vision beyond your resources and we love to help groups who feel likewise.”
A trip to Chosen Yogurt brings more than just yogurt and ice cream. Yes, there is a wall of self-serve flavors that boggles the mind, and yes, there’s a buffet’s worth of toppings that covers cereal to chocolate, but that isn’t the point, it’s the product.
“We wouldn’t be here without our employees. Our business is not about selling frozen desserts, its about creating experiences and fond memories for people,” Rod says.
Don’t Omit the Gummy Frogs
Currently there are summer flavors in frozen yogurt rotation, including Skittlz, which is a twist of lime and watermelon sorbet. I tried it and I loved it. It really does taste like that colorful candy.
While at Chosen, feel free to top it with anything you can imagine, including gummy frogs. Sadly I didn’t think of adding gummy frogs to my Skittlz sorbet until it was too late. When you go, my professional tip is to look at what the kids are concocting before you make your own, just in case you miss something epic like frogs.
Shockingly, gummy frogs are NOT their most popular topping option. That goes to crumbled Reese’s cups. You can also try fresh fruit on your frozen dessert, and this is also the place to go if you want a Dole Whip. That’s right, no need to travel to Disneyland anymore. Just put on your Snow White Playlist and take the short drive to Chestnut and Shepherd for that pineapple soft serve specialty.
Additionally, all of their frozen yogurt is from Honey Hill Farms, which serves high quality yogurt with certified live and active cultures. And if you have a flavor combination in mind, the options are limitless (or at least, higher than my math abilities).
Have you stopped by this local sweet stop? What’s your favorite flavor and topping?
Chosen Yogurt is located at Chestnut and Shepherd avenues.
8967 N. Chestnut Ave
Fresno, CA 93720
Chosen Yogurt is on Facebook, follow them here.
Visit their website here for more information on their product and family.
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