Isaac Mizrahi's family ate a lot of frozen yogurt. During one of many trips to the fro-yo shop with his kids, Isaac decided to cut out the middle man and open his own store. He cut the ribbon on his first Groovy Spoon location in Tarzana, California, where swarms of yogurt enthusiasts crowded around self-serve stations built into modern avocado-green walls. The success of that shop, which has been featured on Khloé & Lamar, led to more locations in California and Ohio, each slinging a rotation of more than 20 yogurt flavors, including sugar-, gluten-, and dairy-free options. Cheesecake, Oreo cookie, and pomegranate varieties lay the groundwork for a bevy of healthy and decadent toppings, such as fruit and candy in the form of chunks, tidbits, and 20-sided dice.
Smoothie King blends fresh frozen drinks, offering patrons a healthy alternative to other types of on-the-go snacks. Smoothie masters begin with fruit-filled base concoctions and customize each one by adding and subtracting items according to customers' preferences. The staff can also add enhancers that jam-pack beverages with probiotics, antioxidants, or protein. Smoothie King's drinks are healthier than other types of frozen treats, including ice cream, cakes, and chocolate-covered snow globes.
On Mondays, Christian Corner Cafe serves pulled pork and cole slaw. Thursdays, it's meatloaf with mashed potatoes. And on Sundays, the Christian-oriented eatery closes up shop. But any other day of the week, customers can pop into the cozy café for sandwiches, coffee, a full breakfast menu, and baked goods including cakes and muffins. Though all are welcome, this food and drink is served in a Christian-oriented environment, with Bibles and scripture on every table. Christian Corner Cafe is also available to cater.
Giant cupcakes that feed 10 people are one of the eye-catching specialty desserts available at Swirlykins Cupcakes. Tamara, the baker behind the business, also crafts individually sized cupcakes, colorful cake push-pops, and layered cakes for special occasions. All of her desserts are made from scratch, ensuring homespun flavors.
As a fourth-generation owner of Johnson's Real Ice Cream, Matt Wilcoxon is proud to distribute ice-cream flavors to 200 restaurants, help mastermind flavors with local companies, and avoid being locked in the ice-cream freezer again. Back when he was 12 and cleaning tables, “I was the one [the employees] always picked on,” he recalls. On a particularly creative night, the teenage staff hosed him down and shut him in the freezer. “I find it funny now,” Matt says chuckling.
Despite a trial-by-fire beginning, Matt knew during college that he wanted to run the family business. “We’re kind of Columbus’ original homemade ice cream,” he says, which is the impetus for Johnson’s current project. Matt and other local companies are “developing three new flavors…as a Columbus local collection” to focus on area flavors that Columbus knows and loves.
At the store—still in its original 1950s location—diners snack on classic and innovative flavors such as caramel cream, chocolate marshmallow, and Buckeye fever. An expansive outdoor patio welcomes diners with 50 seats, and bands croon sweet tunes in temperate weather.
Inlaid between bright-green tiles, Matcha Frozen Yogurt’s self-serve banks pour out 10 frozen-yogurt flavors from a list that includes gluten-free, sugar-free, nonfat, and nondairy options. The independent shop’s flavors rotate periodically, filling 16-ounce cups with everything from classic alpine vanilla to new york cheesecake and hawaiian pineapple, all of which are certified kosher and contain digestion-aiding live natural yogurt cultures. More than 60 toppings, including fresh fruit, coconut jelly, and mochi, dance atop frosty surfaces like Olympic figure skaters covered in fire ants, and each hefty helping is priced by the ounce.
Inside, white folding chairs surround matching white tables that rest between tangerine and lime-green walls. Sunlight pours through Matcha's large storefront window, gently warming patrons, illuminating glistening, fresh toppings, and melting the arms off of Venus de Milo yogurt sculptures.