On a lighter note
Even on the coldest days of winter, moms and teens and couples stream out of Yoforia’s Virginia-Highland shop, cupping frozen yogurt in mittened hands. The icy treat, best when flecked with fresh fruit and mochi (Japanese rice taffy), has become a metro-wide sensation since Jun Kim and a few of his friends opened their first Yoforia at Perimeter Mall in 2007. The nonfat factor is one major draw: Kim’s frozen formula contains a measly 125 calories per five-ounce serving and is made with organic, probiotic-packed Stonyfield yogurt and organic milk from local dairies. Sure, Yoforia pays more for its ingredients—but it’s worth it, says Kim.
A South Korean native turned California fro-yo nut, Kim moved here from the Golden State after his soon-to-be Atlanta partners bemoaned our lack of ice cream alternatives. (The shortage soon remedied itself—not only with Kim’s venture, but also with the fro-yo-centric likes of Red Mango, Yogli Mogli, Decatur’s Yogurt Tap, and Kim’s inspiration, Pinkberry.) He spent almost a year developing the original flavor’s smooth, balanced tartness, using a yogurt machine in his garage and pals and family as taste-testers. “If one person in the group didn’t approve, we started over until we came up with a formula and taste we all agreed upon,” says Kim.
Kim is still COO, but an investor group out of Charlotte recently came in to help spread the mod lime green and orange shops across the Southeast; Atlanta, which already hosts seven, is slated to double its number, and several have popped up in North Carolina as well. Plus, all Yoforias are moving to a self-serve, pay-by-the-ounce model. All the better for pigging out on the most guilt-free sweet in these pages.
Photograph by Neda Abghari