Dannon Expands with a New York City Restaurant

The Yogurt Culture Co. has tons of yogurt and topping options — fro-yo, too

The country is nearly overrun with frozen yogurt shops, but fresh yogurt has yet to be treated like the hot commodity it truly is.

On Monday, Dannon stepped in to fill this void, making a departure from their grocery cart staples like Danimals and Activia to open a yogurt-themed Dannon restaurant called The Yogurt Culture Co. near Grand Central Station in New York City.

“Currently there aren’t any fresh yogurt shops in New York City and we feel this is a void truly worth filling,” said Yogurt Culture General Manager Asumoh Enyiema in a press release.  

New Yorkers can now grab yogurt-infused lunch and breakfast dishes like sandwiches, muffins, and salads, as well as the requisite frozen yogurt for dessert, before catching their train. Purists can have special small-batch premium yogurt with fruit purée and other toppings, which will also be served.

“This idea has been a dream for a while, now,” said Eric O’Toole, President of the Yogurt Culture Company and a vice president of Dannon. “It’s a fresh, handcrafted experience we think our guests really will respond to.”

The Yogurt Culture Co. follows trends of popular chains by focusing on maximum personalization along with portability. Customers enter the rustic, white-tiled Yogurt Culture Co. and select traditional or Greek yogurt, whole or skim milk, and with which toppings they want their yogurt to be dressed, blended, or turned into a parfait or smoothie.

The yogurt offered at the restaurant isn’t just like what you’d buy at the store; it’s made at the Dannon headquarters in White Plains in much smaller, premium batches. The Greek yogurt comes from Pennsylvania, while the frozen yogurt (offered in both regular and Greek styles) is sourced from Portland, Ore.’s Yocream.

The idea of fresh yogurt shops seems to be catching on — Chobani, the top-selling Greek yogurt brand in the U.S, is planning to open a store in New York City in about a month. Unlike Dannon’s shop, Chobani SoHo will sell only Greek-style yogurt, which will be delivered daily from its upstate NY plant. And there will be no fro-yo here, though the yogurt is served chilled.

Expect a Mediterranean yogurt bar with toppings like figs, honey, and pistachios, as well as more dressed-up yogurt creations, with topping combos like Turkish pistachios, dark chocolate chunks, honey, orange and mint.