The economy has taken a swan-style jump off the high dive platform. The descent has been gloriously terrible; many businesses have closed up shop for good, and good folks have been laid off. Though any plummet from the high dive can be disastrous, the trick is to make sure you safely resurface. One change that has risen out of the depths is Top Culture, a wonderfully reasonably priced frozen yogurt shop. Kris and Mary Peterson were in real estate until the market crashed and decided to bring some swiveled-up sweetness to Midtown.
Since Top Culture opened in February, I’ve made several trips to enjoy the diverse array of tasty and creamy flavors, matched with healthy and indulgent toppings. Upon every visit, Kris was present to shoot the fro-yo and represent Top Culture.
As we sat in the back of the extremely clean and organized shop, Kris explained why he started a frozen yogurt shop, how he’d chosen a name and why he was excited to be located in Midtown.
After a year-and-a-half of frozen yogurt “research” (I bet that totally sucked”¦not), Kris and Mary decided to own their first retail business. The Petersons chose yogurt because of the state of the economy and the low price point of frozen yogurt, Kris said.
“[You can get] dessert on average of $3 to $4 a person, and that’s not really breaking the bank,” he said.
Kris used Midtown inspiration behind the ambiance and name of Top Culture and accredits the idea based on the “mystique of Midtown” and its pop culture.
“We enjoy it here and we enjoy the people,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Sure, there are many frozen yogurt choices around; the concept is pretty simple: grab a cup, choose your yogurt, choose your toppings and eat. Kris and Mary at Top Culture seem to have discovered the missing link in Sacramento: attention to frogurt detail. The frills really do make all
Top Culture offers revolving flavors daily, instead of using a schedule for the same flavors. This means every visit will require a practice in decisiveness. Of course chocolate and vanilla are always standard, but some fresh flavors I’ve encountered include banana cream, tart kiwi, kiwi lime, mango sorbet, white chocolate macadamia nut and tart pomegranate. Kris told me that he creates many of the flavors; he especially likes fruity ones.
You’ll find standard toppings like sauces, sprinkles and whipped cream. But you’ll also find Top Culture raising the bar with indulgences like hot fudge, warm and cool sauces and your favorite cereals (Cookie Crisp!). Healthy options like carob chips, unsalted raw nuts, fresh and ripe fruit and whole oat granola are also available.
On a recent visit, the choices of frogurt included chocolate and vanilla, pistachio, white chocolate macadamia nut, tart pomegranate and orange cream. With all the choices, their self-serve sample cups really come in handy (especially since you don’t have to ask for them and risk embarrassment over tasting each and every flavor).
I then created a concoction dubbed “Pistachio Marshberry Pizzaz,” with half pistachio and half white chocolate macadamia nut frogurt, ripe blackberries, sweet kiwi, white chocolate sauce, raspberry sauce and marshmallow cream. (Great advice from Kris: make sure you strategically plan how you pile on your toppings ahead of time, so no frogurt icy-ness gets compromised and melts while you stand and try to decide.)
The frogurt was creamy and each flavor distinct. The fruit was ripe and cut into appropriately sized chunks. The sauces were of a high quality and mixed encouragingly with the other flavors.
I’m constantly searching for frozen yogurt that stands up to the likes of Pinkberry, since the closest one is in Southern California. There are some “popular” frogurt shops around town, but the flavors, unique toppings and quality offered at Top Culture sincerely surpass all others.
I used to work at a yogurt shop and sampled frogurt/toppings combinations daily, so I think it’s safe to take my word on this one and go try Top Culture. This frogurt place will most likely become a Midtown fave, and is only a frolic from the festivities on the corner of 20th and K.