Frozen Yogurt Shops Sees Sweet Success

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EUGENE, Ore. — Frozen yogurt shop Vanilla Jill’s is finding some sweet success and is expanding.

On a sunny day, there’s nothing better than a tasty treat to cool you down, but make that snack a healthy one, and it tastes even better.

“We’re making it from kiefer so it’s full of probiotics,” said Megan Stevens, Vanilla Jill’s owner. “I grew up thinking frozen yogurt was healthy and I never even looked at the ingredients, and then when we looked at the ingredients, we were really surprised and we realized we didn’t want to live our lives feeding people that kind of food.”

Tim and Megan Stevens own Vanilla Jill’s, a one-of-a-kind, Eugene-based frozen yogurt shop.

“There are very few companies in the whole country or even in the whole world that make a soft serve, handmade frozen yogurt,” Megan Stevens said.

Vanilla Jill’s started as an idea, an offhand comment tossed out after dinner.

“We were finishing up and Megan said, ‘Do you guys want to go next door to Vanilla Jill’s and have some frozen yogurt?’ and we all said, ‘Yeah, sounds great’ and she’s all ‘It’s just an idea’,” Tim Stevens said.

That was in 2009.

“We spent six months literally making and eating frozen yogurt every night using Nancy’s Yogurt,” Megan Stevens said.

Tim Stevens says he was the chief taste tester.

In March of 2010, Vanilla Jill’s opened its doors on Coburg Road.

As new recipes develop and word spreads of a healthy homemade organic frozen yogurt, business booms. You can find pints of Vanilla Jill’s in grocery stores, and they now have a frozen yogurt cart at the corner of 24th and Hilyard.

Everything is made at the Coburg store. With this extra production, Tim and Megan are running out of room. So they’ve decided to open a new location in the Whiteaker neighborhood of Eugene.

“We’re going to move our production over to the Whiteaker District and have a small retail space there, so we’re really excited about that,” Tim Stevens said.

The new shop will be called Scoops and Soups. They’ll serve sustainbly sourced soups along with their frozen yogurt.

“We’ll be able to serve basically breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as dessert, at an affordable rate with amazing locally sourced foods,” Megan Stevens said.

At Vanilla Jill’s, their success is in the ingredients.

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