Before froyo, there was frozen yogurt. Believe it or not, the business used to be about quality, not quantity. Scales need not apply. People didn’t need the “freedom” of self-serve. The horror of paying a whopping $9.47 per cup seemed impossible.
But here we are in 2020. Although I did get caught up in froyo mania for a while, I soon saw the light. Three years ago, we were visiting Spokane. While out running a few errands, Sidney and I stopped by Didier’s Yogurt & More, a frozen yogurt place I frequented countless times as a child. We walked inside mainly for nostalgia purposes but once I actually tasted some of the yogurt I realized what I had been missing for years. After frequenting the gimmicky froyo stores that had seemingly taken over on every corner of the country, I had forgotten what good frozen yogurt actually tasted like.
Growing up, my family celebrated stellar grades, athletic victories, and good behavior by going to Didier’s. A North Spokane mainstay, we equated it with achievement and tradition. Prior to driving to the store, we would call and ask for the flavor lineup as it changed daily. I remember crossing my fingers that a couple of my favorite yogurts, marshmallow dream and Snickers, would be on the handles that night. Oh man, I can still feel the anticipation thinking about it right now.
Didier’s wasn’t just a family obsession, it was the official hangout of my high school. If you were a Mead Panther, it was the place to see and be seen. You know how certain bars are known on college campuses for their weekly specials? If it was a Tuesday night, you could find roughly half of the Mead student body at Didier’s. That is because the store would offer heavily discounted frozen yogurt. For a long time, you could purchase a medium dish for $.99. Although the price has increased over the years, the value is still there and whenever you think of Tuesday you think of Didier’s.
Besides the reverence that Didier’s held with my family and high school, it was held in high esteem by my friends as well. I spent many summer days walking there with my buddies. We would walk through my neighborhood, cut through some woods, and stroll through another neighborhood before arriving at our frozen yogurt mecca. The journey was just as rewarding as the cold stuff.
Last night, I took Sloan on the same walk that I trekked so many times during my childhood. It is on the longer side and you deal with some tough terrain but she did great. Our reward was sweet and delicious as we enjoyed our medium dishes (it was Tuesday after all) on the outdoor patio. Sloan ordered half watermelon yogurt and half French vanilla yogurt with gummy worms on top. What a winning combination.
I am delighted to see that Didier’s has continued to prosper despite the newer froyo model. I have many good memories there and was so happy to make some more with my daughter. Don’t Blink.
Great story on a Northside icon.