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Make it your way at new yogurt shop

By: Kathy Maynard, Loomis News Correspondent
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A local family has opened a fun, new place to hang out in Loomis with help from a lot of their friends. Don and Debbie Bates, along with their daughters Allison, 18, and Kelli, 14, opened The Yogurt Shop in the Raley’s shopping center on Horseshoe Bar Road in November. Don Bates graduated from Del Oro in 1981, daughter Allison graduated in 2010 and continues to work as a volunteer percussion instructor with Del Oro’s marching band, and daughter Kelli, a freshman, plays on Del Oro’s girls softball team. It was during spring break last year when the Granite Bay family noticed that the sandwich shop at the center had closed. “We saw the empty space and decided it would be fun to have a yogurt shop,” said Debbie Bates. Don Bates said he expected the business to be slow during winter. “But things got busy a lot faster than we expected,” he said. “Not only warmer weather, but because we were so well-received in the community. We did some initial advertising and a grand opening, the Chamber of Commerce helped us a lot, we’re on Facebook.” Don Bates, who works at the Auburn Ale House and Debbie Bates, a therapeutic recreation consultant, kept their day jobs and credit their rapid success to having the “best, most responsible young employees ever, and the loyalty of their customers.” Allison Bates, who attends court reporting school, works afternoons and weekends and oversees the Facebook page. Del Oro senior Aubrey Schmidt and Jacob Raibley, a Del Oro grad who attends Sierra College, both work part time when they’re not in school. Their logo was designed by Holly Ellis, who helps manage their website, loomisyogurtshop.com, with another Del Oro grad, Josh Carrol. “Everybody has given us a lot of support,” she said. That goes both ways. In December, the Yogurt Shop participated in the State Tastes Great campaign to help send Del Oro’s marching band and cheerleaders to the state finals with the football team. “We like to sponsor fundraising events for local school, sports and church groups and clubs by giving 20 percent of the sales back to them,” she said. They also offer a 10 per discount to all the employees who work in the business center, a 25 percent discount to military personnel and a 10 percent discount to anyone who checks in on Facebook. The Yogurt Shop offers ten flavors of self-serve yogurt with 60 different toppings for 42 cents an ounce, rotating flavors every few weeks. Chocolate, vanilla, a tart, a non-dairy and a no-sugar-added variety are always available. They also serve smoothies and a variety of drinks. Their marketing campaigns include customer loyalty punch cards, monthly drawings and their extremely popular “$2 Tuesdays.” “People get pretty creative about stacking as much as they can in a 6-ounce cup for just $2,” Don Bates said. Allison Bates said, “It’s fun working here, we get to see all the people we know, so it’s kind of like hanging out with your friends the same time you are working.” THE YOGURT SHOP What: Frozen yogurt and toppings Owners: Don and Debbie Bates Where: 6099 Horseshoe Bar Rd. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday Information: 259-1616, loomisyogurtshop.com, facebook.com/theyogurtshop