New dessert option for SPU
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, located at the top of Queen Anne, offers customers 34 different dry toppings, from chocolate chops to sour gummy worms, to healthier nuts and coconut.
Photo credit: KAREN REYNOLDS/The Falcon.
Frozen yogurt shop offers more choice
By ADRIENNE POLLOCK, Features Editor
Published: January 12, 2011
Neon pinks and greens call to those who happen to stroll past one of Queen Anne Avenue’s new additions. A happy, friendly-looking, round-faced creature, adorned with a swirl of frozen yogurt atop its head, smiles out at them.
This friendly vibe emanates from Menchie’s, Queen Anne’s new frozen yogurt shop aiming to create an irresistible temptation for hungry passersby.
Located between Crockett and Boston Streets, Menchie’s opened last month to serve frozen yogurt to the locals. Self-serve frozen yogurt is available weeknights until 10 p.m. and weekends until 11 p.m. to satisfy late-night sugar cravings.
At Menchie’s, staff members focus on being friendly and focusing on the customers. With its big, open spaces, groups of chairs and even outlets for those with laptops, the store feels more like a hang out (and maybe study) spot than a come-and-go option.
“Menchie’s, the name of the store, actually came from the word ‘mensch’ in Yiddish. It means a friendly person or a good person,” said Seattle Pacific freshman Jayde Green, an intended nursing major who works at Menchie’s.
Green said Menchie’s staff members try to exude friendliness and attentiveness to customers. She explained that, no matter what goes on in the store, they are instructed to always pay attention to customers.
“I had a customer come in, I think it was yesterday, and she was like, ‘So I’ve decided, this is the happiest place on earth,’” Green said.
But what else makes Menchie’s different from other run-of-the-mill frozen yogurt joints popping up all over the Northwest?
Menchie’s is entirely self-serve, pay by weight – 43 cents per ounce. It is a perfect system for indecisive college students who want a little of everything, but do not have the money to pay $1 for each individual topping or flavor.
Green said she had worked for a store like this before, but not in Washington. She originally lived in Southern California, where self-serve frozen yogurt shops pop up all over the place, she said. Yet, this is the first one in the Seattle area, and one of only three Menchie’s locations in all of Washington.
The self-serve way of doing things may be new (and exciting) to Seattleites and may be a growing trend.
Upon walking in, employees greet each customer individually, asking if he or she has been to Menchie’s, instruct them on how everything works and offer a sample cup (or cups) to try things out. The employees continually make sure all questions are answered, and that customers are comfortable in the store.
Following the welcome and introduction to the Menchie’s system, everyone funnels to the right in a fluid yogurt-dish-creating movement, sweeping around in a circle to end up at the register after the masterpiece has been created.
You can try as many flavors as your heart desires, mix and match, add as little or as much as preferred, create layers of yogurt and toppings or stick to a simple, plain yogurt.
Menchies offers 14 different flavors at a time, set in pairs for optimal “twist” mixing. Around 90 flavors are rotated through the 14 offered options, with frequent changes. They have non-fat and low-fat, low-carb, dairy-free and no-sugar-added options.
Senior Rachel Smith, a studio art major, said she enjoyed being able to decide how much money she wanted to spend.
"It's a good place to hang out,” she said. “It's really popular, and there are not a lot of dessert places on Queen Anne."
Still, she admitted she prefers Red Mango’s fresh fruit and tart yogurt to Menchie’s’ variety of flavors.
Yet, Menchie’s offers more than just fruit when it comes to toppings.
Bins of dry ingredients, from classic rainbow sprinkles, to nuts and candy, lie in wait to the left of the yogurt, ready to complete each creation. Next, a variety of fresh fruit options are available, followed by mochi, cookies, whipped cream and four various “hot” options, such as fudge and caramel.
“It’s just fun to do yogurt like that,” Green said. “There’s really nothing like it in Seattle."