Let’s imagine you want to open a frozen yogurt shop. In Portland, Maine. Great idea, right! Your shop is the third in a tiny chain of well regarded shops dedicated to making a delicious, locally-sourced product. Terrific – a perfect fit for Portland. But, here’s the catch … you have your grand opening in October. October, the end of the tourist season and the start (usually) long, cold Maine winter, when frozen Yogurt is not exactly the first choice for most Mainers. How do you stay in business in a prime Old Port location until the summer visitors come again?
GoBerry has found the answer, and the answer is: soup.
GoBerry frozen yogurt was founded in Northampton, MA, and currently has locations in Northampton and Amherst MA in addition to the Portland location, which just opened in mid-October. They make small-batch frozen yogurts in an assortment of fruit-inspired flavors with fresh, locally produced ingredients. The Portland shop uses dairy products from Smiling Hill Farm. On the day I visited the shop, the available flavors were original (which has a tangy, berry-infused flavor), Nutella, Blood Orange (which seemed to be the staff’s favorite), and Raspberry. They also offer a rotating selection of hand-packed frozen pints for you to enjoy at home, priced at $5.00 per pint. You can enhance your flavor choice by choosing one or three toppings from a list of more than 25 available varieties. There are fresh fruits available (Mango, Pineapple, strawberry, and more), carob, yogurt, and chocolate chips, local honey, chocolate sauce, nuts, as well as not-quite-so healthy treats like fruity pebbles, gummy bears, and Oreos.
To balance the freeze, they are also offering hot and steamy soups from local favorite Kamasouptra all winter long. Typically there is a selection of three hot and delicious soups available all day. A cup of soup (with a slice of handmade bread) is $3.75, or you can warm up with a bowl for $5.00.
On my visit I got a cup of the Beer & Cheddar soup, and a small serving of original-flavor frozen yogurt, topped with carob chips. Here’s my meal:
The soup was exactly what I expected, warm and comforting, served at the perfect temperature to warm up my insides on a blustery day. The crusty bread was perfectly suited to dipping. I found a cup to be more than enough to fill me up, especially knowing there was yogurt to come.
The yogurt was the real surprise. I have to confess for being sort of addicted to the frozen yogurt served at That National Chain that you find at the mall, but the GoBerry yogurt has cured that forever. The original flavor was tart and tangy, rich and creamy, with the same firm, full texture you find in the best of handmade high-fat ice creams. The small serving was ample, and my entire lunch cost me less than eight dollars.
The seating area, although small, was bright and clean, and features local art (which is for sale) on the walls. The best surprise of my entire visit, though, was how busy it was. Although I was the only one sitting down, a steady stream of locals came through during my entire visit, all of whom were getting Yogurt (despite it being a bit past the prime lunch hour), and every last one of whom was talking about how much they absolutely loved this store.
I have high hopes for GoBerry surviving the winter to become a landmark in the Old Port. Their location, virtually at the corner of Fore and Exchange, just across from Gritty’s, is a prime location for summer foot traffic, and they seem to be doing a steady business from folks who work at the local banking- and government district businesses as well. I encourage you to visit GoBerry yourself this winter, try their yogurt, and get your GoBerry addiction started now, before the summer rush. Because once the weather warms up, I’m pretty sure there will be a line out the door.
GoBerry Frozen Yogurt is located at 399 Fore St in Portland, near the intersection of Fore and Exchange Streets. You can visit the GoBerry website (for the entire chain) or read the GoBerry Portland Facebook page for updates from the Portland store. Kamasouptra has a website, too. They are open Monday – Wednesday from 11 am to 9 pm; Thursday 11 am – 10 pm, and Friday – Saturday 11 am – 11 pm (for a post beer diary experience). On Sunday they are open from 11 am to 7 pm.
Still having trouble finding them? Here’s a map!