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Business Spotlight:

Offering Twinkles of delight

Frozen yogurt shop on Brand Blvd. lets customers serve themselves amid music, neon lights.

October 13, 2008|By Zain Shauk

With deejay turntables, glowing lights, 10 flavors and a unique pricing scheme, Twinkles may be the next big thing in frozen yogurt — or so its owners hope.

“You can compare it to a salad bar,” said James Kang, the spokesman for the new yogurt store on Brand Boulevard that lets customers help themselves to as many yogurts and toppings as they want for 30 cents an ounce.

“Imagine if you go to a salad bar and they have more options and more dressings. It’s better for the customer,” said Kang, explaining that the Twinkles self-serve approach was more flexible than that of competitors like industry pioneer Pinkberry or neighboring Dolci Mango, which is only four doors away.

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Most yogurt stores don’t offer similar numbers of flavors and toppings and aren’t self-serve, said Kang, who represents Twinkles’ Korean owners.

But besides the “yogurt bar” concept, Twinkles, which opened earlier this month, is also trying to create a unique vibe.

The mostly blank, iPod-white walls reflect changing colors that glow from the store’s neon lighting, while flat-screen TVs along the walls play music videos.

Kang said a deejay will also be playing after 8 p.m. for a limited time, creating an atmosphere that is part nightclub, part dessert destination.

“It’s like a nightclub, but without the alcohol,” said Kang, explaining that the store also hopes to attract teenagers looking for a club-like atmosphere.

Twinkles employee Gohar Gevorkian, 18, said customers like the store’s interior design.

“It’s not like any other yogurt place,” Gevorkian said, later adding, “They feel like they’re in a lounge.”

Stopping at the shop with her mom on Friday, Sona Arakelyan, 19, said she was back for her second visit to Twinkles after being attracted by its design, and some free samples.

“The place looks really nice,” said Arakelyan, who had loaded her Twinkles container with peanut butter and espresso yogurt to go along with toppings of Twix candy bar chunks and Oreo cookie pieces. Her mom opted for blueberry yogurt with a smattering of fruit on top.

Despite the current economic tension, Kang said Twinkles was confident that its pricing and flexibility would work for customers.

“Since this is sold by weight, people can spend $2 or $3, when they would have spent $5,” he said. “People still spend for ice cream.”

Gevorkian said the store’s flexibility was already catching on, only a week after opening.

“The thing about our store is that you can get as many toppings as you want, so people kind of go crazy,” Gevorkian said, adding that many customers add multiple flavors to the Twinkles cups. “That’s the good thing. They can kind of splurge on whatever they want.”


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