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Business: Yogurt Stop marks milestone with 25 years of frozen treats

By Jane Knoerle, Almanac Lifestyles Editor

Generations have loved the frozen yogurt at the Yogurt Stop, located at 401 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Starting this month, the shop is also offering "grab and go" breakfast items, such as pastries, morning smoothies, scrambled egg sandwiches, and specialty coffees. The shop is also being updated with fresh paint and a new espresso machine imported from Italy.

Soheila Khalili has owned the Yogurt Stop since it opened 25 years ago. She still comes in every morning to make 14 or 15 flavors of frozen yogurt. "It's all made fresh every day," she says.

Flavors change with the seasons. During the holidays, eggnog and peppermint are popular. Vanilla is always a big hit, especially with flavor bursts, such as cotton candy or bubble gum for the kids, and butter pecan or strawberry jam for their moms. There are also more than 20 toppings, plus fresh-sliced fruit.

With so many loyal customers, Ms. Khalili wasn't too worried when several new yogurt shops opened in Menlo a few years ago. (The frozen yogurt frenzy first began in the 1980s, then like hula hoops and bell bottoms, faded away. A resurgence began in the early 2000s.) "I've seen them come and go," she told the Almanac in a 2010 article.

All the yogurt at Yogurt Stop is nonfat, except for French custard, which is low fat. Sugar-free yogurt is very popular, says Ms. Khalili. Locally produced ice cream, low lactose and soy yogurt are also available.

Ms. Khalili has been a part of the Menlo Park community since she opened her shop. She lived in Menlo Park for more than 20 years and her two daughters attended local schools. One is a graduate of Menlo-Atherton High School, the other, Menlo School. She has always employed local high school students.

During the end-of-the-year holidays, for the first time in 25 years, she closed the shop between Christmas and New Year's Day. She wanted to spend time with her family, which now includes two grandchildren, she said.

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