| September 2012
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By Karen Topakian
Durand Ford shows how you can swirl two flavors in one cone at Easy Breezy Frozen Yogurt, the self-serve soft-serve shop he and wife Ariel Ford opened in July on 24th Street. Photo by Pamela Gerard
Easy Breezy Frozen Yogurt
4028 24th St. between Noe and Castro
When Eureka Valley residents Ariel and Durand Ford began planning their dessert shop, they dreamed of transporting the taste and feel of a Midwestern “shake shack” to Noe Valley.
“My husband grew up spending his summers in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. There’s this specific shake shack there, called the Cup and Cone, that was our original inspiration,” says Ariel.
The Fords’ new creation has been briskly selling soft-serve frozen yogurt and ice cream since it opened in mid-July. And Easy Breezy Frozen Yogurt has for sure brought a breath of fresh air to the neighborhood.
Reclaimed Northern California wood, carved in retro wavy panels, adorns the walls of the store, located in the former home of Cosmic Wizard at 4028 24th St. Customers—the space seats about 20—can lick their cones while perched on wooden stools and log-like benches. “You feel that you’re outside, even if you’re inside,” says Ariel.
The Easy Breezy logo—a cute cartoon character (“Breezy”) created by Durand Ford and designer Chris Fettin and available on T-shirts—is another nostalgic touch in the store. But never fear, the shop is in the 21st century when it comes to being green. “Anything you walk in here and get is fully compostable,” even the spoons, says Ariel, who is a co-founder of the tech businesses CareSquare and Red Gorilla.
She and Durand buy their organic yogurt—plain, tart, vanilla, and chocolate—from Straus Family Creamery of Petaluma. To create their own frozen yogurt flavors, they add fruit or other sweets and spices. “For our raspberry yogurt, we use fresh raspberries, fresh limes for our lime,” says Ariel.
To the delight of multigenerations, they also sell frozen custard—creamy soft-serve ice cream made with whipped egg yolks.
Every few days, the shop brings out two new flavors. “We try to make one of them a little more kid-friendly and one of them a little more adult-focused,” says Ariel.
In mid-August, Nutella, Lime Breezy, Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Milk, Tart, and Vanilla Custard were on tap. (To see current flavors, check Easy Breezy on Twitter or Facebook.)
What puts the “easy” in Easy Breezy is that customers build their own frozen treats. They take a cup or cone and serve themselves from wall-mounted dispensers, then pick their toppings, such as nuts, chunks of fruit, cookie dough, coconut, potato chips, or granola.
“We love the idea of mixing the salty with the sweet,” says Ariel, who recently added figs, Frosted Flakes, and Ritz Crackers to the store’s repertoire.
“Mochi and bursting boba balls are the biggest sellers with the Noe Valley kids.”
A clerk weighs the final concoction, which is rung up at 55 cents an ounce.
In addition to running a brand new business, Ariel and her Shakespearean-trained actor husband are raising three young boys. “They’re not old enough to work in here, but they’re certainly old enough to enjoy it,” says Ariel.
Easy Breezy Frozen Yogurt is open from noon to 10 p.m., seven days a week.