Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sweet CeCe's

Sweet CeCe's Frozen Yogurt & Treats
4615 Poplar

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I am a big fan of frozen yogurt. I would probably go to YoLo everyday if I could. Luckily I don't live too close to it. As other yogurt shops open, I can't help but check them out. I mostly do it to reinforce how awesome YoLo is.

Today I took the monkeys (Satchel, 8, and Jiro, 6) to check out Sweet Cece's which is in the Laurelwood Shopping Center near Chili's. I felt guilty going, but I did it for the sake of my readers. (That's not technically cheating, right?)

The monkeys ran ahead of me, so by the time I got in the store a grandmotherly type woman was already asking them if they'd ever been to CeCe's before and guiding them through the concept. (I should have realized right then that CeCe's is a chain.) This is one of my biggest pet peeves about these yogurt places. It isn't that hard to figure out what to do! However, I am 100% sure that there are people who come in and stare blankly at the wall of yogurt machines, so I'm going to let this slide, especially considering what happened next.

Granny told the kids that they could taste any flavor they wanted and to just let the young girl standing by the machines know which ones.

(Sorry this picture is blurry--everything happened very quickly.) Both monkeys wanted to try Irish Mint and the young girl quickly hooked them up. I thought it was odd that she served the samples since it was clearly a self serve yogurt place. Since I cut off Granny's original speech, I double checked the rules! (Get a cup, get your yogurt, get toppings, weigh out at the register.)

But just to be triple sure I said to the girl, "We can serve ourselves, right?" She nodded. I handed each monkey a cup and reminded them to go easy on the yogurt. After a few gluttonous trips to YoLo, they have learned that they cannot eat as much yogurt as they think they can. Anyways, in a matter of seconds, they each had HUGE servings of mint ice cream. Frankly, I was pissed, but I let it go since the young girl was hanging out by the machines.

When I filled up my own cup with the tart flavor everything made sense. The dispensers have very wide openings and the yogurt comes out crazy fast. I stopped being mad at the monkeys and got a little annoyed with Sweet CeCe.

Of course, by now the monkeys had hit the toppings so there was no time to assign blame. I watched as the monkeys continued to load up their cups by the wall of cereal and candy.

Like the yogurt, the toppings come out really fast. The dispensers, which I had previously noted as cute in my mind, were now noted as sinister.

Last, but not least, the monkeys hit the "good" stuff--fruit and chocolatey candy and brownies and such. These expensive toppings are, of course, much harder to dispense. (Another sign of a chain restaurant.)

However, after Satchel put about 10 cherries on his yogurt, I was back to being annoyed with him.

I took a deep breath and decided that they were just kids, it was a new place, it was supposed to be fun, yadda yadda yadda. I paid the $13 for our yogurt and tried not to act bitchy towards the innocent cashier. She asked if we had a member card and I said no. She picked one up, punched 3 holes in it, and gave it to me. (After 9 punches, the 10th one is free.) I'm kind of a sucker for those cards, especially at places I frequent anyway.

Satchel got us all a spoon out of the fancy spoon dispenser and then we sat down to enjoy our treats.

Satchel had also picked up what looked like a bookmark. Upon closer inspection, it was a bookmark with ten lines for kids to write in the books they are reading. Once it's full, their teacher signs it, and they bring it in for a free yogurt. Sweet CeCe was starting to get to me. Both Satchel and Jiro agreed that they would fill up their cards. (We visited the bookstore prior to getting our yogurt fix.) I then grabbed a brochure from the counter. It had birthday party information. For $12 per kid, you a get behind-the-scenes tour, yogurt, a table cloth, a t-shirt, a sticker, and a party room.

While the kids continued to work on their mountains of yogurt, I did some snooping. I looked for the party room, but didn't see it. I'm wondering if the cute little kids' area is what they mean. It's separated, but not separate.

It has smaller tables and chairs and a cute chalkboard.

I continued snooping and was happy to see a large poster on the wall with nutritional info. (Note that the serving size is half a cup!)

And this sign giving a nod to sustainability.

(A Project Green Fork certification would be a lot more impressive.)

Jiro came over and asked me to take him to wash his hands. The women's room was full so we went to the men's.

I thought the mood lighting was awesome. But you wanna know what was extra awesome? The changing table. IN THE MEN'S ROOM. (I'm sure the women's had one too.)

I left feeling pretty good about ol' CeCe. But by no means am I going to dump my local-loving, PGF certified YoLo. He'll always be my #1.


TennesseeT said...

Thanks for checking out the competition, Stacey! By the way, we've got YoLoyalty cards now - hope you'll pick one up so you can start earning free yogurt with us too! (spend $40, get $4 off)...

Unknown said...

My experience at Sweet CeCe's was the same. The yogurt dispensers are noticably faster at pouring out yogurt into the cups and the same is true of the large toppings dispensers they have.
Of note, YoLo will also provide samples if you request them. Particularly when they have new flavors, this is a nice way to at least taste without having risk paying for something you wouldn't like.
Also, I really find the atmosphere at YoLo's to be more positive. Their setup is designed so that newcomers hardly even need any explanation of how it works. And I like that they actually post how much you will be charged per ounce unlike CeCe's.

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