Chilly Sweets at Mitten’s Yogurt Bar in Charlevoix
It was opened earlier this year by Jan Breithaupt and her son Scott, and it’s still going strong even as the leaves turn. It’s true - sweet treats know no season, especially when those treats are yogurt concoctions as good as those being offered at the new Mitten’s Frozen Yogurt Bar in Charlevoix.
Set in a large, inviting space with contemporary design touches and a colorful host of yogurts and toppings, Mitten’s was inspired by a visit that Jan took to the southeastern U.S.
“I had been doing research on frozen yogurt places for a couple of years, after visiting one in Tennessee with my family,” Breithaupt explains. “I sold my retail store in Petoskey, and my son and I decided to open the yogurt bar together.”
After only a few months (“and lots of hard work,” Breithaupt says), Mitten’s was opened in June, offering a twist on the many ice crème places that can be found across Northern Michigan.
The frozen yogurt is truly self-serve, dispensed via several sets of yogurt spigots that are inset beautifully into the walls and surrounded by a rectangular pattern of brown mosiac tiles. A toppings “bar” - looking much like a salad bar, but with sweets instead of savories - invites customers to add additional fruits, cookies, and other goodies to their frozen yogurt treats.
“The new concept of ‘self serve’ is hitting the markets all over the country,” Breithaupt explains. “People enjoy making the decision of how much, what flavors, and what they want on their sundae. Plus it is a healthier alternative to ice crème.”
Yogurt from Prairie Farms is served at Mitten’s, with the name of the café itself being inspired by its locale.
“The name was chosen because we are based in Michigan, and use Michigan-made yogurt,” Breithaupt says.
Over 40 toppings and sauces are available to go with the yogurt.
“Fresh fruits are a favorite of most,” Breithaupt continues, “but we also have other options like caramel, fudge, marshmallow, gummy bears, M&Ms, nuts, and more. We serve six different flavors of yogurt, and a combo twist on each two, and we change one flavor weekly.”
Breithaupt says that she has a difficult time choosing a favorite flavor because she enjoys them all, but especially Dreamsicle, Key Lime, and Blue Moon.
“You can try more than one,” she says. “Most of our customers end up coming back and trying different flavors each time. Some just want the yogurt plain, and others pile on the toppings. And we have ‘Loyalty Cards’ for the regulars, so you can get a discount after filling the card.”
Business is booming and Breithaupt hopes to stay open Thursdays through Sundays this fall and winter to see how it goes once the crowds thin and the weather turns cold.
And complementing Mitten’s multitude of frozen yogurt options is the café itself, a great setting to sit with your sweets and enjoy the view.
“We have a beautiful deck overlooking Round Lake and the Charlevoix Marina, and inside seating also,” Breithaupt says. “That’s a real plus for the customers.”
Mittens Yogurt Bar is located at 212 Bridge Street in Charlevoix, telephone (231) 437-3338. They may also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MittensFrozenYogurtBar.
CUISINE: Frozen Treats
Price Range: 49 cents per oz., average is 8 oz., so around $4.00
Don’t Miss: Dreamsicle (orange) yogurt with chocolate topping, a terrifically rich contrast in flavors.