THERE was a certain time not many years ago when a number of shops where one could cool down with a healthy dessert similar to ice cream was almost everywhere. But it looked like frozen yogurt or froyo shops faded away in the midst of other dessert places popping here and there.
This prompted some college friends to open a new froyo place where Cebuanos could enjoy a cup or two of this refreshing dessert. Actually, the idea came about during a visit to Manila last year and they noticed the abundance of froyo places in the malls.
“We couldn’t stop ourselves from getting our yogurt fix, and we reminisced how yogurt shops were just one drive away and how after playing sports, having froyos was just the right way to cool down,” said Siegton Sable and friend Leslie Ruiz, who started 18 Degrees Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Bar.
“Weeks passed, and on a very hot day, we all craved for frozen yogurt and we joked about how we’ll just have to take this on our own hands.”
Located at the Verve Point Building in Nasipit, Talamban, Cebu City, 18 Degrees (from the desired temperature in Fahrenheit to achieve the creamy and light consistency of its soft serve) offers not just froyo but also ice cream, chilled drinks and yummy snacks like mozzarella sticks. But its best-seller is, of course, the froyo, which comes in small cups or “froyo bowls” and “customized to have the right level of tanginess and still have a tinge of sweetness in it.” Apart from eating them plain, customers could also “personalize” their desserts by adding delectable toppings from over 32 choices, which is an experience sorely missed by froyo lovers.
Froyo lovers recognize the health value of their dessert and 18 Degrees knows this well, especially during this time when everyone should take extra care of their bodies and keep sicknesses away.
“Frozen yogurt is known for its use of probiotic bacteria and prebiotic fibers. These healthy bacteria grow in our body and provide a lot of benefits like aiding in digestion, improving immune function and mineral absorption, lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure,” said Leslie.
Moreover, in an article in Boston Magazine, froyo has fewer calories and is lower in saturated fat compared to regular ice cream. Although sugar levels would depend on flavors and toppings added to the froyo, those who are watchful of their diets could indulge.
“Our blends are 97 percent to 99 percent fat-free, gluten-free and naturally sweetened,” Leslie added.
Since crowding in food joints is still discouraged in these days of “physical distancing,” 18 Degrees also makes its products accessible through food delivery networks.
After overcoming challenges, including academic demands of architecture school (both Siegton and Leslie are architecture students), 18 Degrees opened early this year with students and young professionals dropping by their store just before the quarantine started. Today, they continue to whip up their desserts, delivering them to customers who are craving to cool down in their own homes.