New frozen yogurt shop adds to local options

Waco residents enjoy free frozen yogurt at 3 Spoons in January during the grand opening in the Central Texas Marketplace.
Matt Hellman | Lariat Photographer

Oso’s to compete with four others in battle for business

By Brooke Bailey

Yogurt fanatics will have even more choices in the near future. The wife and daughter of Baylor’s head football coach, Art Briles, will open a frozen yogurt shop called Oso’s— that’s Spanish for “bear”— in less than two weeks, Staley Lebby, Briles’ daughter, said.

“The vibe for Oso’s will be sleek and modern,” Lebby said. “We will have indoor and outdoor seating, a dog-friendly patio and great tunes in the background. We are aiming for a hip and cozy place where people will want to come and enjoy a delicious and healthy cup of fro-yo.”

Oso’s will be located at 215 Mary Ave.

“Oso’s is going to be the self-serve style with plenty of fresh fruit and yummy toppings to choose from,” Lebby says.

Mr. Snow’s Fro-Yo, Orange Cup and 3 Spoons all serve frozen yogurt in Waco. Mr. Snow and 3 Spoons use a self-serve style. Orange Cup, located on Fifth Street, near campus, is trying a different approach than other Orange Cup franchises.

“We’re not turning from Orange Cup, but we’re kind of making it our own. We’re adding our own flavors, toppings and price specials,” manager Amanda Colwell said.

To help lulls in business, special promotions are usually offered.

“When Baylor’s gone, it’s really dead,” Colwell said of her daily flow of customers.

A lot of students, particularly young women, come to Orange Cup for their frozen yogurt fix, Colwell said. Clifton sophomore Hannah Blanton said she is a yogurt fan.

“I like to get some frozen yogurt once a week as a little pick-me-up,” Blanton said.

At Mr. Snow’s Fro-Yo, the idea is for customers to pick a cup, choose their flavors and toppings and then pay by the ounce.

“It’s healthy. It’s good for the body. Everybody knows that,” said owner Leticia Mendez.

Although TCBY, now closed, was a popular spot for frozen yogurt, the self-serve trend in Waco started with Mr. Snow, Mendez said. The locally owned shop near campus on La Salle rotates flavors roughly every week to keep the customers’ taste buds satisfied. Mendez said yellow cake is the bestselling flavor, and cheesecake bites and strawberries are the favorite toppings that she sees people piling on.

3 Spoons, located on Texas Loop 340 about 10-15 minutes away from campus, is relatively new to Waco, and employees Tomball junior Lillian Lockhart and College Station freshman Kelly Boysen said business is great. They said that the majority of customers are college-aged kids, but that they see customers of all ages.

“It’s a lot of families. I see a lot of Baylor professors in here and their kids,” Lockhart said. “I saw Dr. Isaiah Odajima, the associate director of the band. I’ve seen one of Baylor’s football coaches in here. Coach Jim Barnes, the volleyball coach comes in here. I have yet to see Scott Drew or Art Briles, but we’re getting there.”

A 3 Spoons promotion allows customers to say who they’re “spooning with,” and 15 percent of all profits in a two- to four-hour time period go to an organization’s cause.

“It’s a win-win,” Lockhart said.

Customers get frozen yogurt, organizations get money for their fundraisers and 3 Spoons gets business. Lockhart said many non-profit groups and sororities and fraternities take advantage of the “Spoon With Us” program.

Katie’s Frozen Custard located on Valley Mills Drive has been serving frozen custard for years. Employee Lindsay Mirick said she is confident that despite the new frozen yogurt trend, Katie’s success will continue.

“We’ve been voted best in Waco for several years in a row. We’ve always gotten good reviews from customers and had a pretty steady customer base. No competition,” she said.

In addition to the opening of Oso’s, another new frozen yogurt shop, Spoonful, plans to debut in late April on Valley Mills. Orange Cup also has plans to expand, looking into opening locations on Valley Mills and in Hewitt and China Springs.