January 2012

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Cup of yo

By Alison Henry | Photography by AG Photography

Posted: Monday, Sep. 05, 2011

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There are more than a few places in the Queen City to get a cup of something cool. From Yoforia to Menchies and everything in between, we’re not exactly at a loss for frozen treats with tasty toppings. But even amid a smorgasbord of summer treats, one place stands a sip above the rest.

Nestled among the storefronts at The Shoppes at University Place is Fruiti Cup: a self-serve yogurt concept delivering frozen desserts via straw or spoon. But it’s the ones for sipping that are the most surprising.

Fruiti Cup is one of the only places in the area to offer boba teas in addition to its rotating cast of nonfat frozen yogurt flavors. Also known as bubble tea, this traditionally Taiwanese treat has a lot of Americans expanding their sense of snack-time adventure. The concoction of milk, green tea and characteristic tapioca pearls, or “boba,” isn’t exactly something you’d find at your local Starbucks, but the seemingly endless array of day-glow flavors like mango, honeydew, strawberry – even avocado – are surprisingly refreshing and fun.

On a recent visit, I embarked on my very first boba tea experience, and found myself joyfully using the oversized straw to seek out the satisfying chewiness of the lightly vanilla flavored boba bouncing around the bottom of the cup. One part milkshake, one part smoothie and equal parts creativity, culture and je ne sais quoi, it is something everyone at some point should try, with kid-like enthusiasm. Not to mention, the stuff is, quite simply, pretty.

But even if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge into the peculiar, you can still create your own creamy concoction with more than 45 yogurt toppings ranging from gummy bears to granola. I dug into a cup of coconut yogurt with strawberries, blueberries and, wait … are those bath beads? Upping the ante of originality, one of Fruiti Cup’s toppings is popping mango balls – small, colorful beads bursting with juicy flavor. See? Fun.

Spokesman and employee George Neyer takes pride in the store’s fresh-cut fruits and buffet of nuts, cereals and candies to cover “everyone from the health-conscious to sweet tooth fanatics,” he says.

George, a real estate agent by day and friend of the shop’s owners, devotes his evenings to helping out around the store. “It’s close to my office, and the family is a great family,” he says. “This area really didn’t have a yogurt place. Concord has one, SouthPark has theirs, NoDa has one, so the owners decided to open one in the University area. Right after dinnertime people come out for dessert, and it’s busy until 10 o’clock – sometimes until midnight. We accommodate and stay open as long as it’s busy!”

Ginny Austin is such a fro-yo fan, she comes at least once a day. “I live in the condos next door, and I walk over every day,” she says. “My favorite is vanilla and chocolate yogurt swirl with walnuts and chocolate syrup.”

While summertime crowds are a commonplace occurrence, the folks at Fruiti Cup are already setting their sights on the coming seasons to keep the spirit alive. “We are considering offering coffee or hot tea in the fall to accompany the yogurt,” George explains. “Although the nourishment from the yogurt is not just a seasonal thing; it’s good for you year round!”

Want to go?

Fruiti Cup

9009 J M Keynes Drive, Charlotte

704-717-7557

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