RTF: Making culture mainstream

Upon arrival in New York City there was an overwhelming amount of places to dine at, yet I wasn’t sure where in the world to start. My visit in the Big Apple was short lived but wildly successful. My first morning in the city riding one of the many yellow taxis I scrolled through the Twitter sphere. Within minutes I was reading New York Time’s most recent post in its Diner’s Journal, Two Fresh Approaches to Yogurt.

While many of us tend to know the healthy benefits that are naturally found in plain and greek yogurts it is slowly becoming a trend to enjoy the thick and sometimes quiet sour substance. Until now there are only few places that have capitalized on selling yogurt fresh and by order, nature’s true secret. As a foodie that digs the cool taste of my morning greek treat I had yet to see it sold anywhere besides rows of it in the dairy aisle of a grocery store – until now.

The Diner’s Journal was covering The Yogurt Culture Company along with a similar food establishment and their novel approach to selling fresh yogurt with an endless supply of pure, wholesome toppings.

The Yogurt Culture Company is doing exactly what their name says, creating a culture around yogurt. A fun pun is that this stuff is actually also packed with beneficial cultures and probiotics that keep your insides pleased and clean. Any of the employees will happily explain the natural benefits of the yogurt and how the cultures are one of the nine amino acids our bodies need to survive. The probiotics and natural cultures also help aid digestion, and in a delicious way. There are also a variety of pamphlets available throughout the store offering much more information, including their philosophies. Their approach is not only to sell the stuff but actually educate their customers and show them how yogurt can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or as a sweet snack depending on what’s on top.

    

Their plain yogurt is processed through Dannon in White Plains, New York and shipped to The Yogurt Culture Company store front. While their greek yogurt stems from the Battenkill Valley Creamery in Salem, New York allowing them to support other local New York food establishments. Where they source the yogurt goes along with one of their philosophies, to provide the highest quality of all-natural dairy. Battenkill Valley Creamery is over 100 years old as well as being family owned, making wholesome, sustainable milk their life long priority. Their cows are hormone free and allow The Yogurt Culture Company to offer a clean product.

Once in the store the customer has a variety of toppings to add on. The most impressive are the fruit purees that are made with 100% fruit that is hand-churned by a local New York fruit producer and naturally sweetened. Along with the fresh fruits, the Yogurt Culture Company is attempting to offer an experience to their customers that will help make yogurt shops a part of mainstream food establishments.

Beyond the high quality yogurt, the company actually upholds a second mission geared toward the business’s carbon footprint. All of the people behind The Yogurt Culture Company believe in having a company that is sustainable and environmentally conscious. All of the store materials as well as their cutlery is made from 100% corn-based plastics, 100% recycled fiber. The Forest Stewardship Council has certified much of their wooden utensils while their wooden counters come from reclaimed wood. All of the above gives a small glimpse at the kind of decisions being made at The Yogurt Culture Company.

Beyond the fresh yogurt and outstanding company philosophies, the menu extends to frozen yogurt and the opportunity to make parfaits or smoothies. The rustic inspired shop also offers daily baked pastries, salads and sandwiches all made with yogurt as a key ingredient.

All hail the healthy cultures.

Amy Verhey

Summer 2012 Food Warrior

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