Yo-yo-Yola: A taste of fresh (never frozen) Yo-gurt

posted Tuesday, July 12 by Andrew Moreno

While frozen yogurt is often popular around these parts, there’s one classic treat that’s never to be forgotten and that’s the fresh yogurt parfait, complete with assorted fruits, toppings, and tons of deliciousness. One local business that constantly impresses us with their delicious food and coffee is Yola DC, a one-of-a-kind fresh yogurt bar less than a block from the Dupont metro. Yola has been a long time friend and partner of the Think Local First campaign, and we would just like to introduce you to some of the great things we are doing. We sat down with Laura, a local restauranteur and Washington area alum to tell us some interesting thoughts on her business and the local campaign:

So when did Yola begin?

We’re pretty new, we started in Decembre of 2010. Six months, woo! I started the business with my dad after I saw a similar concept in London, and thought to myself “D.C. is awesome, fresh yogurt is awesome, why don’t we combine the two?” There are just so many fro-yo places in D.C. and fresh yogurt has really amazing health benefits, so why not do that instead?

What’s so important about sourcing locally?

There are two main reasons we source locally. The first is that working with nearby farms we lower our carbon footprint. The yogurt isn’t being dragged around the country. Also, it’s super fresh! Any time you come in, you are getting yogurt that at most was made a week ago. When you buy it at the grocery store, you’re lucky if you get yo that was made a month ago (that’s why they have to uber-pasturize it, to create shelf life, and that’s no good because it kills the good bacteria). Also, we tend to find that our philosophy fits better with small farms. Blue Ridge Dairy and Trickling Springs are really committed to using all natural ingredients. There are no huge factory farms involved, no hormones, no antibiotics. We feel strongly that it is a moral issue. Okay, that might be more like 5 reasons….

What’s the best part about working in DC?

Aside from the fact that I was born and raised here (Yola is one metro stop from where I went to high school), there’s a great food community here. I’ve gotten to meet tons of business owners who are really passionate about what they do and are eager to help others who are trying to do the same. D.C. gets a bad rep for being a transient city, but there are a group of people who are working hard to keep D.C. cool and at the forefront of green business and the locavore movement. Did I mention coffee? D.C. is becoming a really awesome coffee scene. I was just at a Counter Culture cupping today!

What challenges is Yola facing these days?

I have three words for you Money, Money, and Money. It was a huge pain to finance this place. The old saying “it takes money to make money” sure is true. That and the build out took a long time.

Why did you want to get involved in the Eat Local First campaign?

I like supporting Think Local First because it’s a great community of small business owners who are a wonderful resource. Plus, I believe it’s helping to create a community where exciting new businesses can operate in D.C.

Any cool events coming up that you’d like to share with us?

We do this really fun event called the Coffee Bike Crawl. Our coffee director leads it and we get a group together and bike around to various independently owned coffee shops and try their goods. It’s a great way to get exercise, see the city, and taste some really amazing coffee. Our next one is July 23rd. Check our blog and facebook wall for more details and Yola Parfait Bar on facebook.