While I was looking the other way, the moment I had been so desperately awaiting finally arrived. Right under my nose, Pure Yogurt Culture (8108 Hampson Street) opened at last! The paper covering the windows came down and the newest dessert shop in my ‘hood already had some steady clientele. When I walked into the clean, well-designed establishment, which featured a white bubble, drop-ceiling and textured walls, I almost felt like I was inside a vat of frozen yogurt and I didn’t mind one bit.
Inset into the far wall were dispensers marked with flavors like Pure Tart (the simplest and most delicious in my opinion), Chocolate, Mango and Who Dat…a mystery mix of flavors that was a noticeable hit for incoming patrons. A group of young men from the nearby college couldn’t get enough of it and recommended it highly to anyone who would listen. I guessed the flavor to be coconut, but the vivacious owner, Herbert Leyton, told me to guess again.
A longtime resident of New Orleans, Leyton explained how he and his wife are a bit fanatical and have made it a point to taste frozen yogurt from shops all over the world like New York, Singapore, Jakarta, Germany and Hong Kong. After getting laid off from a major oil company a year ago, Leyton decided to live the dream and finally open a shop of his own. With a focus on fresh ingredients from local farmers and a passion for high quality, non-fat yogurt, his dream has finally become a reality and the proof is in the pudding…or in this case, the yogurt.
Although the concept seemed to elude one (extremely rude) customer while I was there, Pure Yogurt Culture is a self-serve frozen yogurt shop that I found both novel and convenient. Grab a cup from the stand, fill it with yogurt, as much or as little as you like (feel free to mix it up), select your toppings and weigh your final creation. Each personalized yogurt only costs a mere 45 cents per ounce.
Speaking of toppings, Leyton offered a variety of choices from fresh fruits like bananas, strawberries and pineapple to crunchier options including granola, Capt N Crunch and Fruity Pebbles. He also provides condiments that lean towards the sweet tooth; M&M’s, chocolate chips, Gummy Bears and Ghirardelli Syrups like chocolate, white chocolate and caramel.
With a sigh of relief and a huge smile, I devoured some delicious, Pure Tart frozen yogurt laden with fresh strawberries and watched the curious dessert-lovers file into the shop. In the short time I was there, Pure Yogurt Culture enjoyed a steady stream of clients who seemed just as excited as I was to see this place open at last. I hope that my fears will be unfounded and Herbert Leyton will be a huge success despite the stiff competition from Cold Stone and Baskin Robbins that lie only steps away. After all of his hard work, enduring passion and perseverance, he deserves to see his dreams made a reality.
“Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true.”