Survival Of The Creamiest? Some Predict N.J. Frozen Yogurt Fallout


Montclair’s frozen yogurt boom is part of a statewide uptick in fro-yo spots that may result in a shakeout. The Bergen Record is predicting doom and gloom for the rapid proliferation of fro-yo spots in New Jersey (R.I.P. TCBY), and citing Montclair and Ridgewood as towns that are maybe a little too fro-yo friendly.

For those playing at home — Montclair has five frozen yogurt shops. In downtown Montclair, Twist recently opened its doors on Church Street, next to Starbucks in the Siena building, offering free wi-fi and sporting a large topping island stationed in the center of the store. Twist joins Red Mango, also on Church Street, and Let’s Yo, located on Valley Road near Bloomfield Ave.

Then there’s Berry Sweet at Watchung Plaza and Razz Berry Swirl, with awnings and signs of life indoors, readying to open on Bellevue Ave. in Upper Montclair.

Have you tried Twist? Or better yet, who has tried all of Montclair’s fro-yo spots so far?

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  1. It’s laughable the number of fro-yo places that have opened up. I mean how many yogurt places does one town need?! I predict Red Mango and Let’s Yo! are the ones that last. Unfortunately, I also think the gelato place on Church St. might become a casualty since it’s sandwiched between all of them.

  2. What? That it tastes like throw-up? Now why would I do that?

    Or were you talking about the phlegm strip it leaves?

    Either way, I hope they are doing well, as with all the others. To be very clear: that I don’t like a place doesn’t mean I want it to fail. I hope all these entrepreneurs do well!!

    (btw, this site is running better, but still much slower than any other I visit.)

  3. This site runs somewhat quicker with Chrome however with IE there is a 4 to 7 second pause when first loading the path in which one cannot click on any links or scroll up and down. Once the site is loaded it is usually ok.

  4. I’m on Safari 6. It take a bit to load, and when I hit a link on page- featured comment, kids, food, or one of the links to the next, or preceding story it is much slower. This is true for my two iMacs, macbook pro and iPad.

    I don’t want to give the impression that it always takes forever- sometimes it does on first loading mostly- but most of the time it is just not as quick as other site.

    But sometimes… much longer.

  5. Funny nick, that’s where the (new) macbook pro comes in. It’s a month old.

    And well, yeah– generally I get a new machine (iMac, iPad or macbook pro) every 2-3 years.

    PC users, I hear, usually use their $500 “wintel” computers for at least 3 Window versions, which I believe translates to one every 5-7 years. Oh, and I hear, nothing really works well, they crash, get spammed, are poorly designed (or poorly copied off a mac), and, well, aren’t, you know, MACS.

    But I look forward to some telling me how I’m in a “cult” (though using a product from what was at one point today, the highest valued company in American history), am brainwashed, or am ripped off because they are so much more expensive than PC’s. In truth, they work. Period. As the ad says: all the great, easy software comes with the computer.

    Oh, and they don’t get dirty cause they comes with a little guy that cleans it every night. Or at least that’s how they come when delivered to us in UPPER Montclair.

  6. I’ve had a lot of issues w the site running very slowly the past few days/weeks. Generally using Firefox on a Mac.

  7. There is nothing like Frozen Yogurt in New York; so far I have not stumbled upon anything like it in New Jersey. Unfortunately I don’t care for the taste of the frozen yogurt at any of these local shops. I would much rather prefer real ice cream, yet its becoming unavailable. My intuition tells me that ice cream, along with most fast food chains, will all go under and be replaced by “organic” and healthy foods.

  8. The site is very slow for me too, but this is not new. I use Firefox. A lot of times I get to the home page and then click on one of the story panels. I’ll typically get and an empty space where the story should be. So I leave the site altogether. FYI I’m accessing from work so the speed issue is not on my end.

  9. Twist is our new favorite, followed closely behind by Lets Yo. Red Mango is a distant third, admittedly haven’t tried the other two yet.

  10. One should read the earlier articles about froyo on the website. One of them reveals that many of these shops sell the very same brand of frozen yogurt — YoCream, which is a subsidiary of Danone (which sells Dannon). That’s what CUPS sells, along with Twist It, perhaps Twist, BBerries, Frozen Peaks, etc. Red Mango sells its own. Let’s Yo sells Honey Hill Farms. The point is that not one of these places, other than Red Mango, sells a product unique to them. They just call and order it from distributors.
    More importantly, take a look at an article published in 2010 entitled Frozen Yogurt is Not Health Food.

  11. anewlife – you are right on. And being Montclair-ians all of us, I would hope that we all can taste quality. I know I can…and the quality of the Red Mango product (and Pinkberry if you visit NYC or LA) far exceeds the rest.

    I consider myself a connoisseur of self serve frozen yogurt and have tried every shop available to me in several states. Let’s Yo, Twist, and Berry Sweet are all similar in the sense that they clearly use a cheaper product which is too sweet for palates seeking a healthy treat…and the customer service is mostly lousy.

    Let’s start with Twist…when I walked in there with my Red Mango in hand to inquire about their new business (and why they were setting up shop mere blocks from 2 successful frozen yogurt places), I was met with a downright evil staredown from one of the teenage girls working there. Inquiring further, a male employee clearly more focused on customer service, explained to me how they were different from the rest…it was a valiant effort but not so convincing. Berry Sweet near the Watchung train station is run by a woman who seems to be a but of a nut job…she claimed they were there first when they are actually the latest shop to open in town. Plus I had to wonder if she was on something when she started waxing poetic about how self serve frozen yogurt is better because “people have forgotten how to use their hands” and this give them an opportunity to do so. And their product held up the least out of the rest – literally. It was mushy and soupy. I wouldn’t go there again. Let’s Yo! is my choice when I’m seeking a sweeter flavor as opposed to the fruit flavors I love at Red Mango. If you want Cake Batter and Peanut Butter this is the place to go. Their service is the best out of those mentioned and they mix it up a but by selling coffee as well as having a cool cereal bar. Product is similar to Twist and Cups…but the service does make all the difference. Looking forward to the opening of Razz Berry Swirl as that is the closest to me. And if you ever have the opportunity to visit a Yogurtland (there are a few in NJ now) I highly recommend their product.

  12. @uppermontrocker — thanks for the acknowledgement. It’s good to see someone with discriminating, NON-sweet taste. To be honest, though, I don’t care for frozen yogurt at all, at any of these places. I adore greek yogurt and have it for breakfast each morning with some fruit and nuts, but the dessert variety is just plain UNhealthy! I urge you to read the article attached to my prior post. Frozen yogurt is FILLED with sugar or sugar substitutes. As the author of the article writes….(I’m paraphrasing here) “if I put probiotics on a pizza, does that make pizza healthy?” If I want a frozen treat, I’ll eat ice cream!

  13. Havne’t tried Twist yet, but I’ve tried Let’s Yo, Red Mango, Cups, Berry Sweet….and, the winner hands down is Let’s Yo.

    Now, I like Red Mango sometimes – that tart yumminess. But, in terms of wanting a sweet treat, then Let’s Yo is by far teh best. The yogurt itself tastes the same as the other places (tho, at Berry Sweet it was a drippy mess), but the TOPPINGS there are unbelievable. I mean, they easily have 3-4 times the number of toppings at the other place. So, you have endless creations to make (plus a cereal bar!).

  14. Have you tried Mark & Julie’s in West Orange? I like it because it’s got hard frozen yogurt. I don’t like soft ice cream or yogurt, just a personal preference. Lots of flavors from which to choose (they sell real ice cream, too). My fave is the coffee chip.

    When I am home and/or trying to be healthy, I opt for the Greek Oikos yogurt. I buy the plain and add stuff to it: instant coffee, cinnamon and walnuts, vanilla…the possibilities are endless.

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