The two single doors at either end of the Froyo World in New Haven at 46 High St., next to the Yale Center for British Art, were in constant movement this past Tuesday as customers filed in to fill their cups.
Soon suburbanites, including those here in Mystic, will be have Froyo in their backyard as the company begins to franchise throughout the Northeast.
Branford resident William Bok started Froyoworld as a full-service frozen yogurt business, YoCup, in San Francisco back in the mid-2000s.
“There wasn’t really any yogurts out there at the time,” said Bok, of the short-lived venture he and his cousin Meinoh Kim of San Francisco launched.
A graduate of UConn with degrees in history and business, Bok said he decided at age 23, after graduating school, that he was “out of here.” He added, “I kind of wanted to experience something else.”
He and Kim launched YoCup and ran the business for about two years before selling their interests—Kim still lives in San Francisco and is the creator of a baby product line, Meeno Babies; YoCup is still in business under new ownership.
Coming back to Connecticut, Bok said he helped his parents, then the owners of , and ran the business for nearly two years before opening the first Froyo World in New Haven in August 2010 with wife Susan Bok and brother Dennis Bok.
People love the self-serve aspect of Froyo, said Bok, right from pulling the lever of their choice of Froyo to selecting which fresh fruit will pair best with it.
“People just love doing it themselves,” Bok said.
The idea, though not unique to Froyo, was developed by Bok, he said, when he realized that customers were unhappy with paying a lot for toppings at YoCup, a full-service business, when they might just want taste of something rather than heaping spoonful.
At Froyo World, Bok said the customers decide how much they want to put on their cup and then they pay by the ounce. At 49 cents an ounce, diners be warned: Froyo can get expensive, especially for the heavy-handed scooper.
As the trend toward frozen yogurt grows in Connecticut, Bok maintains that Froyo World will thrive.
“We’ll be a leader in frozen yogurt,” he said. “We’ll be the first ones here and the last ones to leave.”
Another self-serve frozen yogurt shop has already opened in Groton. On March 21, Greg Kosma opened “Frogeez” frozen yogert in the mall across from Big Y near Starbucks.
Currently there about 15 to 20 Froyo World stores set to open in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts during the spring and summer; there’s also a franchise who runs one Froyo World in San Juan, Puerto Rico and plans to open five more in the future.
Bok said about four to five stores would be corporate owned with the flagship store remaining as the 800-square-foot facility in New Haven.
Mystic’s location has not yet been disclosed. Slated next to open is the Hamden location at 2100 Dixwell Ave.; shortly after, the North Haven location at 300 Universal Dr., and the Cheshire location at 191 Highland Ave., is due to ope.n.
Check their website for upcoming store openings.
Most Popular Froyo in New Haven
Vanilla Froyo with cheesecake topping, strawberries and chocolate pretzels
Most Refreshing Froyo
Original Tart Froyo with fruity Pebbles cereal, Mochi (Japanese rice cake) and strawberries
William Bok’s Favorite Froyo
Cake Batter Froyo with cheesecake topping, strawberries, Mochi (Japanese rice cake). whip cream, Carmel sauce and a cherry on top.