Self-serve, pay-by-the-ounce frozen yogurt shops are popping up all over South Florida. And customers can't get enough.
"You can't get in on weekends, you can't get in after 8 o'clock," said Lisa Nadell, while eating yogurt with her daughter at Menchie's on a Monday afternoon.
Lines are out the door on almost any given night at the Menchie's and Yogurtland locations in Broward County. So what's all the fuss about?
Well, it's not just yogurt, it's how the yogurt is sold and what they're selling it with.
The self-serve concept means that customers take an empty cup and then fill it with as many flavors as they want and as much yogurt as they want. Most self-serve yogurt shops offer more than 10 flavors.
Then, you add toppings. The toppings bar normally includes about 50 options, from cereal, to chocolate bars, to candy, to fresh fruit.
Finally, you place the yogurt on a scale at the register and pay based on the weight. (Prices range from 30 cents to 50 cents per ounce).
Menchie's in Pembroke Pines was the first self-serve Yogurt shop in South Florida, opening last December. Ever since, it's been packed with teens, kids and families like the Gilberts', who come every day from Miami Gardens.
"I've never seen anything like it," said Jade Gilbert. "You can get cereal, candy, chocolate...anything."
Like Menchie's, Yogurtland is also a franchise based out of California. Yogurtland has three South Florida locations: Coral Springs, Weston, and Pembroke Pines.
"When word got out lines started forming," said Yogurtland Florida's Director of Marketing, Stacie Malegni, who explains the phenomenon, "You can mix it up and combine so many different flavors, it never gets boring."
Franchesca Fernandez liked the concept so much, she opened up her own independent store in Coral Gables, called My Yogurt Bliss.
"We have some things that are unique like Nutella flavored Yogurt and Key Lime Pie," Fernandez said.
My Yogurt Bliss also has unique toppings like fresh baked brownies and chopped up waffle cones.
Yogurt-lovers won't be driving all over town to get their fix for long. Menchie's and Yogurtland each plan to open dozens of new stores in South Florida within the next year. So it appears the yogurt craze isn't melting away any time soon.