COURTESY OF BELLA'S FROZEN YOGURT
When Corey James and Austin Blankenship, owners of downtown's newly opened Bella's Frozen Yogurt (1021 Washington Avenue, 314-553-9261)
, unveiled their first-ever St. Louis-centric flavor Wednesday, they weren't sure how customers would react. The city may love Red Hot Riplets — but that doesn't necessarily mean people have been dying to eat them in froyo form.
The pair needn't have worried. Doors opened at noon, and by 6 p.m., they were completely sold out of the sweet-and-spicy Red Hot Riplet yogurt blend.
"Everyone loved it," James says.
Admits Blankenship, "We did not expect it to sell out so quickly."
While part of the appeal was surely the novelty factor — you've combined yogurt with what??
— the partners say the feedback was totally positive. And after sampling the stuff, it's easy to see why. Somehow, their yogurt captures not just the heat of barbecue-flavored chips, but the potato chip taste of barbecue-flavored chips. It's positively uncanny.
They're proud of that; they say it took a lot of experimentation to get the flavor just right (and no, they're not giving away the secret as to how they did it). Deploying the Fenton-made snack was something they had in mind even before opening, and they worked tirelessly with their supplier, Arkansas-based Honey Hill Farms, to nail its essence.
They see it as the first of many St. Louis-focused collaborations.
"We literally went to Arkansas with a bag full of St. Louis," James says. "Everything from gooey butter cake to Provel. But Red Hot Riplets was always the one they were intent on perfecting.
Now that they know their customers agree, they're preparing to bring the flavor back on Monday. This time, they say, they'll be ready for the demand.
"We're going to make a bigger batch," James promises.
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