LIFE

Heaven for topping lovers

An abundance of sweet toppings awaits customers at Yogurt Heaven. (photos by John Gregory)

Heaven for topping lovers

Frozen yogurt is a popular treat for kids, especially on hot days. Yogurt Heaven at 12010 Scripps Summit Drive (off Scripps Poway Parkway) remains popular all year long, and it’s not just the kids who love the place.

So, what’s the secret?

Customers can mix as many flavors as they want.

That’s easy. Yogurt Heaven is a totally self-serve yogurt shop. Customers pour their own yogurt into cups from a wide selection of flavors, and they can pour as much as they want. Then they can choose from dozens of toppings to create their own frozen masterpiece.

“They just like to create their own,” said Mike Azizi, the owner. “The customer does everything themselves. We have 16 flavors, over 40 toppings. We have low-fat (yogurt) nonfat, dairy-free, sugar-free. We have something for everyone.”

The toppings are a big hit. There are brownie chunks, M&M bits, fruit pieces, syrups, gummy bears, cookie dough, chocolate sprinkles and, of course, the ever-popular rainbow sprinkles. The selection of frozen yogurt is also wide-ranging. There is usually a tasty vanilla, mint, fruit flavors, a few variations of chocolate and a coffee-flavored variety. Customers are free to mix as many as they like.

“They get three, four, five flavors,” Azizi said. “The salted caramel is pretty popular, and, during the really, really hot days, the Dole pineapple sorbet is popular.”

Customers may get as much yogurt and toppings as they want. The only limit is how much will fit into a cup. Each cup is weighed and customers pay based on the weight.

A selection of fresh fruit is among the toppings.

“You weigh and pay,” Azizi explained. “So, if you want a lot, put on a lot. If you don’t want a lot, put on a little bit.”

Azizi makes it a point to do his share of helping youth groups with fundraisers and sponsoring youth sports teams. In fact, a page on the company’s website explains that Yogurt Heaven has a program for fundraisers and special events. The wall near the toppings counter is filled with plaques from the teams Yogurt Heaven helps sponsor. “We are always doing fundraisers for different schools or different sports,” he said.

Yogurt Heaven owner Mike Azizi pours a serving of yogurts from one of the dispensers lining the wall.

For example, Scripps Ranch High School cheerleaders were in the shop just yesterday morning for a photo shoot that will appear in their annual calendar, which they will sell on campus as a fundraising project. Yogurt Heaven paid for a sponsorship inside the calendar.

A conversation with the easy-going Azizi reveals another aspect of Yogurt Heaven’s appeal: It has a welcoming, casual atmosphere. Azizi beckons new customers to experience some of the flavors and toppings for themselves. “Stop by if you’ve never been here,” Azizi said.

Yogurt Heaven is open Sundays to Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Visit yoheaven.com.

Part of Yogurt Heaven’s appeal is its bright, welcoming, casual atmosphere.

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