Newly Opened Fro-Jo’s Honors Transy Roots

by Alex Cheser
Columnist

Living in Lexington, you come across plenty of restaurants and eateries that pay homage to the University of Kentucky. The Transylvania jersey hanging in Gatti Town was the only manifestation we’ve had until recently. Now comes Fro-Jo’s. The brainchild of Transy alumni Paula and Mark McGuire, Fro-Jo’s is a self-serve frozen yogurt and coffee shop located in The Mall at Lexington Green adjacent to the movie theater.

The inspiration for opening a frozen yogurt shop came from a trip to a Yogurt Mountain (almost as good as Candy Mountain) in Birmingham, Ala., when the McGuires were visiting the area for a wedding. The bachelor party went out for some “froyo” and the McGuires’ son, Shane, also a Transy alumnus and current admissions counselor, came back and insisted his parents try it. Impressed with the yogurt and the idea of complete self-service, the idea was planted.

Paula, who had been everything from a math teacher to a guidance counselor to an athletic director at Trinity Christian Academy, eventually started looking for a location with her husband, and they jumped on the Lexington Green location when they found it. The McGuires thought their business could be successful there, and they liked the fact that it was locally owned. The space had been a dry cleaner’s and a nail salon in the past, but with some work the McGuires transformed it into a cute little shop with blue and white tiled walls and accents of pink and brown.

When it came to the yogurt, Paula knew where to go. She had worked for Taylor, the nation’s leading soft-serve machine supplier, while her husband attended dental school and knew the company’s reputation for quality machines and support. From there, the McGuires started tasting around the local yogurt circuit and decided on Honey Hill Farms, a company that promotes local, healthy yogurts. The yogurt Fro-Jo’s uses actually comes from Sugar Creek Dairy in Missouri and Honey Hill distributes them in a variety of delicious flavors.

I attended the grand opening this past Saturday and sampled each of the eight flavors available (although there are plenty of new flavors on the way). There are nonfat and low-fat options and even a nondairy Valencia orange sorbet. My favorites were definitely birthday cake and California tart, a flavor which highlights the tart flavor of yogurt. Once you fill up your cup with frozen yogurt, you get to choose your toppings and stack them yourself, and trust me, they are not short on toppings with their 60-plus options. Fro-Jo’s offers everything from fresh fruits, a variety of chocolate chips, hot fudge and caramel, sprinkles, cereals, nuts, syrups, cheesecake and a spread of candy — even Sour Patch Kids! The yogurt is then weighed and priced per ounce and you can enjoy your creation. That’s the edge Paula wanted over the other frozen yogurt shops in Lexington: the ability to have full control when building your dessert.

Taking into consideration the fact that not everyone might want froyo in the winter, the McGuires decided to incorporate a coffee bar, hence the “Jo.” They decided to brew Caribou Coffee after hearing rave reviews from Shane and other friends. Caribou is the second-largest nonfranchise coffeehouse after Starbucks and is more popular up north. Caribou also partners with the Rainforest Alliance to work towards offering only eco-friendly coffees. I had never tried it, but I was intrigued. Fro-Jo’s offers four brews from the light daybreak morning blend to the dark French roast. I opted for the signature caribou blend and delighted in how smooth it was. It wasn’t burnt-tasting like Starbucks at all. Plus, you get the option to add whatever syrups and confections from the toppings bar you want.

Fro-Jo’s honors its Transy roots by offering all students, faculty and alumni a 25 percent discount. You just have to tell them at the counter. If you go, Fro-Jo’s is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m.-8 p.m. on Sundays. There’s even free Wi-Fi! Once the weather is warmer, there are plans for a patio and even a drive-through. Not only would you be supporting a local business, but you get to enjoy delicious froyo!

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One Response to Newly Opened Fro-Jo’s Honors Transy Roots

  1. Jess says:

    Went last week with my boyfriend, very friendly service and cozy interior. Also, the y0gurt was delicious, highly recommended. It’s local, let’s support them!

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