Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar Calgary, AB - Self Serve Frozen Yogurt!

Wandering through Market Mall, I perchance crossed Qoola's soft opening on the weekend from March 15 - 17, 2013. Despite the fact that the mall was closing in about five minutes, Qoola was still very crowded, and hence, I didn't get a chance to take any pictures. I mean... what's the point of seeing the back of people's heads? The store's interior design contained eye catching colours and apparently there was more in stock for the grand opening on the weekend of April 5 - 7, 2013.
Soft serve frozen yogurt bars have gained popularity in recent years, espically in the US, and hence, most of the companies that come up here are from the States. Pinkberry and Tutti Frutti are expanding in Western Canada. I have eaten at both and I am kind of curious about its distribution system (do they ship their products to Canada or do they have Canadian production?) This review will focus on Qoola though and why its worth trying.

According to Qoola's website, Qoola is Canadian owned and operated and this likely means that the products are made in and distributed across Canada. Upon the first bite, I could taste the freshness of my pineapple/original flavoured swirly. It was comparable to the best frozen yogurt bars that I frequented in the US. (This is just an analogy for the fact that US owned and US distribution was very fresh, just like one would expect a Canadian owned and Canadian distributed product should be).

There were 10 flavours to choose from. The toppings bar had a plethora of fresh fruit, sugary toppings and syrup. I have never seen Ghirardelli outside of the States, so having Ghirardelli chocolate syrup is an impressive feat. Eh... not that I actually like Ghirardelli that much... that's beside the point of the article.

With the increasing competition of soft serve frozen yogurt bars in Canada, I asked the cashier/manager how Qoola stands out against its competitors. The key points:
  • Freshness: The fruit flavours are made from fruit puree. I need to ask about something like pistachio next time. Although Qoola isn't the first company to use fresh fruit in its products, the texture and the flavour really stood out on my tongue. I wouldn't attribute this to the fact that I haven't had soft serve in a long time... it was just really good in my opinion.
  • Customer Service: This was the soft opening and there was a high amount of staff in the store. Apparently the goal is to make sure that everyone entering the store is welcomed by a staff member.
  • Informative: Outside the store, there was a poster indicating all the benefits of eating frozen yogurt. Off the top of my head, not many or any stores tell you how many bacterial cultures there are in their yogurt. This may not mean a lot to the average consume; however, they seem to be nice facts that make you feel great about eating dessert!
  • Environmentally friendly: The containers they have are recyclable and reusable. They are dishwasher safe. Qoola Calgary is giving free cups out right now and will likely charge for them in the future, so stock up! With a container that is reusable and recyclable, it was certainly disheartening to see people throw it out into the garbage can. Even if you don't use it again, c'mon, recycle!
If you live in Calgary and you still see snowstorm warnings, summer may seem farther away, but it's still down the hall... well, a very long hall corridor. You now have two frozen yogurt options inside of Marketmall (I didn't forget Marble Slab... it's not frozen yogurt though!). Yogen fruz and Qoola are both very good and are substitutes for one another. The difference is how the product is prepared and ultimately the texture and flavour. Whichever one you go for will probably depend on your mood and the line up.
Verdict
I strongly recommend Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar
+ On hot summer days, all you can eat is awesome
+ Variety of fresh fruit, toppings and fresh tasting frozen yogurt makes a delicious dessert
+ Friendly service

Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar (Corporate Website)
Address 3625 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, Alberta T3A 5P9
Inside Market Mall, Near Toys R Us and The Bay in the mall and across from Teavanna
Phone (403) 288-5466
Hours Market Mall operating hours Mon-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 9:30am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm
Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar on Urbanspoon
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