Green Gastronomy: Yoga-urt

Green+Gastronomy%3A+Yoga-urt

Rating: 

Waste – 4/5

Disposables – 3.5/5

Compliance – 5/5

Food Sourcing – 3.5/5

Overall – 4/5

With the seemingly endless numbers of frozen yogurt joints around LA, it can be difficult to choose which one to go to, but if you happen to be near Glendale or Echo Park, Yoga-urt is the place to go.

Although some people might be turned off by the idea of vegan frozen yogurt, Yoga-urt’s almond cashew base creates a creamy consistency without the weird aftertaste often associated with nut milk. Yoga-urt has a wide variety of unique rotating flavors, giving you another reason to come back one, two… or 50 more times, as well as “ice cream” sandwiches, milkshakes, and kombucha floats.

Before starting Yoga-urt, founder Melissa Schulman’s first passion was yoga. She wanted to create a frozen yogurt place that aligned with the values of the yoga community, such as health and sustainability. Yoga-urt has lived up to these values by not only taking the basic steps towards being eco-friendly, such as composting, recycling, and using organic ingredients, but also coming up with innovative ways to constantly improve their sustainability. For example, Yoga-urt turns the nut pulp byproduct from their almond cashew milk, the base for their froyo, into flour to make cookies and pie crusts, which ensures that nothing goes to waste.

Although they have some other specialty desserts, Yoga-urt’s main product is frozen yogurt, which they serve in compostable paper bowls. However, customers are still welcome to bring their own reusable containers. When it comes to sustainability, even the little things can make a difference. For example, unlike many ice cream or froyo places that give you a plastic spoon automatically, Yoga-urt has bioplastic spoons that they make available to customers who need them, ultimately reducing the number of spoons used.

Schulman admits that while their produce is always organic, it can be challenging to source everything locally, especially with specific ingredients like cacao or tropical fruits. These flavors make up a big part of their menu. By switching to more local ingredients, they’d be getting rid of a lot of what customers love, so it doesn’t look like this change will be made any time soon.

Overall, sustainability definitely seems to be at the core of Yoga-urt’s mission; Schulman feels that “it’s super important for everyone to do their part because the environment needs us to do our part.” She also knows that while her company is doing a lot of good, they’re not perfect; as she explains, “There are always ways we could improve, and we want to be open to suggestions and changes to help us be even better.”