Looking for a place to chill? There’s a new frozen yogurt place in town.
Kevin Wu and Julia Hetter, a couple based in London, were sitting in a yogurt shop together about a year ago. At the time, Julia was working in a hospital, but wasn’t happy there. She mentioned it might be fun to open a fro-yo place of their own, and together, they turned the idea into a reality.
The shop, which they called Chil, serves frozen Greek yogurt and currently features eight flavours—two of which are dairy-free. With roughly 117 toppings to choose from, along with organic coffee and tea, there’s no shortage of selection. Chil has been open since September 2 of this year.
The couple carefully constructed their business model to ensure their products were as healthy as possible. “Our frozen yogurt has no water in it at all—the water is drained out of it, which is why when you serve yourself in the cup, it takes 45 minutes to an hour to melt in the cup,” Wu explains
“Our competitors only have 15 per cent yogurt and the rest is water and food colouring, so when you hold on to it, it melts instantaneously and turns into soup,” he adds.
Frozen yogurt has become a major food trend, and London has welcomed it with open arms. Yo Yo’s opened on Richmond Row in 2010, along with other places like Kiwi Kraze, which opened in 2011.
However, Wu doesn’t consider places like Yo Yo’s his competition. “To me, my competition is not Yo Yo’s, my competition is ice cream,” he says.
But one can’t help but wonder if the close proximity of the two shops will affect business sales—especially come winter.
“Winter months are actually busier than the summer months because, unfortunately, the students are stranded,” Wu observes. “And when they’re stranded in London, they have very little to do. They go to the mall, they go to theatre, they can play pool or they go eat frozen yogurt. So even though it’s cold, it will still be busy.”
There are already expansion talks in the works to turn Chil into a chain. After four days of being opened, Wu already had inquiries in the East Coast and different cities throughout Ontario.
Chil is located at Richmond and Hyman Streets. It’s opened seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
With a custom-designed, night-like atmosphere, Chil works well as a first date spot. If you prefer to sit outside, there’s a front and side-store patio.