Hip hoping my way toward the front door, dove white walls, dark red beams, and wood floors create a cozy minimalist décor while trendy music amplify the senses further.
One quick glance, I knew it was him. “Hey Yul.”
Lets answer the obvious.
No, I did not touch his chiseled abs. That would be inappropriate, at least I thought.
No, he did not touch my award winning perfectly protruding beer belly either.
Like a basset hound dog sniffling for prized truffles, I asked away burning questions. As a food writer for Campusfork (a food blog), I wanted an interview.
So here’s the story….
After winning Survivor: Cook Islands, Yul often visited Costco and stuffed himself with bulk quantities of junk food. At one point, he gained almost forty pounds in a single month. Then a friend introduced him to Red Mango in Los Angeles and his addiction began. As a frequent visitor, Kwon started losing weight and decided to own a Red Mango franchise.
After tasting several frozen yogurt places in the Bay Area, a few things are obvious. Starting off with texture, the frozen yogurt is smooth and has no signs of frozen ice pellets found at sub par operations. The full bodied yogurt also contains a perfect amount of tartness. Toppings amplify the flavor further. Dark chocolate adds a decadent crunch while mochi contribute to a playful chewy texture.
A little background..
Despite the downfall in the current economy, Kwon would not trade his spot for any office job. Although the retail business involves a huge amount of both stress and work, he sees that job security even in a Fortune 500 company may not be firm. After graduating from Stanford as an undergraduate and receiving a J.D. from Yale Law School, Kwon worked in corporate America including Google. As a small business owner, he finds it satisfying to create something tangible as well as have control over his own destiny.
Located on the leafy streets of University Avenue in Palo Alto, business is steady. He credits that to his yogurt that promotes a healthy eating lifestyle.
Separating themselves from other frozen yogurt shops, Red Mango serves real authentic yogurt shipped from a local dairy farm and does not use powder. This insures a high level of probiotics which are good bacteria that promotes digestive health.
During the daytime, office workers, local merchants, and student make up the bulk of business. In the evening, the frozen yogurt destination has become an alternative for young people opting out on the typical bar scene.
Still perplexed, if I had won the million dollar prize money from Survivor, I would dash off to an island, bring two blonde girls, one Chinese (not Taiwanese due to political reasons), two pallets of White Castle, + my Tivo.
But, it is aspiring that a reality TV star would leave corporate American and take a chance at entrepreneur success.
*Read, Lets Build A Copycat for an idea on what it takes to open a frozen yogurt shop such, using Pinkberry as an example.