Over a year ago, Vannessa and Greg Howell embarked on an enviable roadtrip, tasting every variety and flavor of yogurt they could get their hands on. After much research, the two decided it was time to open their own shop in Chico, one different from the rest. The result is Yo Chico!, where wholesome organic frozen yogurt, local fresh fruit, and an array of sweet toppings are on offer.
Inside the bright green shop on East Avenue and Mariposa in Chico, Yo Chico! customers choose from five ever-changing flavors. Vannessa and Greg serve Potter Family Farms’ organic frozen yogurt in flavors from Organic Vanilla to Organic Cheesecake. Also coming soon are a range of organic sorbet flavors and even non-dairy yogurt, all created by Potter Family Farms, who specialize in organic yogurt. Vannessa chose Potter Family Farms’ yogurt because of its live probiotic cultures, whole organic cane sugar as sweetener, and hormone-free milk. The live cultures are dormant when frozen, then the warmth of eaters’ systems awakens the cultures to activity.
Customers can try samples, then mix and match the flavors and fill their cups as much or as little as they want. Toppings offer choices sweet and healthy: chocolate chips; tiny, real cheesecake squares; organic granola; seasonal, organic fruits like kiwi and blackberries from S&S Organics and the Chico Farmers’ Market; and Pomegranate Syrup from Skylake Ranch. Those on special diets can choose gluten-free vanilla cookies.
Vannessa does her best to include ingredients that are wholesome, healthy, and local. Her mission is to “serve organic products at non-organic prices,” she says, and to educate customers on the many benefits of yogurt, whether as a treat or an afternoon snack. She says she also believes wholeheartedly in supporting her community “because they come back and support me.”
Yo Chico! is open seven days a week starting at noon and they stay open late. Visit their website at yochico.com or their Facebook page to find out about weekly flavors or specials. They also host parties and birthdays by reservation.
Photo courtesy of Yo Chico!
Edible Shasta-Butte is the guide to local food, dining, and gardening in Northern California’s central valley from Butte County north to the Oregon border.