Walnut Creek Fro-Yo Smackdown II: With the opening of Coco Swirl, where are you gonna go? And what about this ’80s fro-yo time warp?

So Coco Swirl has finally opened on Locust Street, next door to Century 14 movie theater, and in the former space occupied by Moonstruck Chocolates.

And … Coco Swirl is a block from the trendy and the self-proclaimed healthy Red Mango, which took over the former Maggie Moo’s spot in Plaza Escuela.

All these changes!

And remember, Red Mango is famous for its association with Yul Kwon, the affable winner of the 2006 season of TV’s Survivor. Kwon grew up in Walnut Creek, became a health nut and proclaimed Red Mango to be “literally the healthiest yogurt out there.” However, Kwon has picked up and moved to Washington D.C. There, the Yale Law School grad will be working in the Obama administration, at the Federal Communications Commission as Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.

Meanwhile, the new Coco Swirl and Red Mango are going up against longtime Yogurt Castle, at the corner pf North California Boulevard and Bonanza Street, to win over our frozen yogurt hearts, minds, and stomachs.

Back in August, my husband, son, and I did our own tasting of frozen yogurt offerings at Red Mango and Yogurt Castle. Now, Coco Swirl has arrived in town. Who is going to win this fro-yo battle? Or, maybe there is a market for all three?

But even contemplating frozen yogurt–oh my goodness!–I’m warping back to the 1980s. If my memory serves me correctly, Yogurt Castle was in business in Walnut Creek in the 1980s. I remember patronizing it myself. And weren’t frozen yogurt franchises cropping up everywhere in the 1980s, not just here in the Bay Area, but nationally, even internationally?

Wasn’t frozen yogurt the sought-after dessert, because it offered all of us weight-freaked-out Americans the illusion that indulging in vanilla non-fat frozen yogurt (topped, of course, with chocolate chips, Oreos, and M&Ms) was healthy and wouldn’t expand our waistlines?

Well, as I write this, it’s time to listen to some Talking Heads. The other night, my son and I watched The Breakfast Club. And, in the past month, we have commemorated two historical events of the 1980s: the Loma Prieta earthquake and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

12 thoughts on “Walnut Creek Fro-Yo Smackdown II: With the opening of Coco Swirl, where are you gonna go? And what about this ’80s fro-yo time warp?

  1. Coco Swirl charges by the ounce, but Red Mango charges you based on toppings and which cup you choose. Some people like a lot of toppings and it might be cheaper to go to Coco Swirl.

    I have not tried Red Mango so I will have to stop by and try it out. Coco Swirl is a self serve format, but at Red Mango the employees dispense the yogurt for you.

    Yogurt Castle was originally named Yogurt Park. Yogurt Park sold the store and it became an independent shop called Yogurt Castle. Yogurt Park is a chain that goes back to the 80s. However, after a few years the frozen yogurt craze disappeared. It was not until a few years ago that frozen yogurt finally made a comeback with the new tart style frozen yogurt. In a few years people will probably once again become tired of frozen yogurt and move onto something else.


  2. I'd stick with YougurtLand in the Khols Plaza, Pleasant Hill! The toppings and flavors are fantastic and less expensive than Coco Swirl.


  3. Ha, I used to work at Yogurt Park! I carried a pager in case there were any yogurt emergencies too, what a blast from the past. I probably will not eat at Coco Swirl or Red Mango.


  4. We go to Yogurt Station which is next to Rocco's, because we rarely go to downtown WC. If we do, we go to Green Tea Cafe for a boba…now that is something that is unique.


  5. I'm really concerned about the increased traffic with all the yogurt people circling around the concentration of downtown yogurt shops. They'll come into town from all the outlying areas.

    I'm sure the city council members are getting a cut from the yogurt shop owners somehow. Probably bending over backward to meet their every need without citizen input. I believe they have yogurt delivered secretly to some city council meetings…

    I suggest a ballot initiative to let the citizens decide the concentration of yogurt shops.

    RAMPART, Selma King, disgruntled previous mayors etc. where are you with regard to this issue?


  6. 12:39 pm,
    Sorry, but your concern is misplaced.
    The evil new Walnut Creek Library is responsible for this entire controversy and for all other misfortunes in our geograpical area. The circling fro-yo-hunting traffic to which you refer will be diverted to that library, where citizens will be force-fed sugar-free knowledge, unbeknownst to them.
    Where is the outrage?


  7. Yes, the library, how could I be distracted. I suspect the city council is secretly planning a library yogurt shop there so they can park in their reserved parking spots in the library garage and have easy access to yogurt.


  8. Why on earth would a city council member park in an undergound parking lot at the library, reserved or not?

    They have much more convenient reserved parking in the City Hall parking lot.

    One of the perks and probably the least of which we should be concerned about.


  9. Is it really necessary to reduce everything to what passes today as catchy, clever and with-it nicknames?

    Fro-Yo – who calls it that?

    No-Mo – North Main (trying to copy SF's SO-MO- South of Market)

    How about NE-MO for Neiman Marcus?

    Can't we just call things by their real names so everyone knows what you are talking about?


  10. Some of these comments sound like the council members are blogging again…
    Not going to read these blog anymore. I preferred it when the towns folk wrote it.


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