Local businesses give warm welcome to cold confection

via Twitter @iglouu

via Twitter @iglouu

By Carly Peacock, Charlotte Hurndall and Craig Dingwall

Local businesses have given Jesmond’s first frozen yoghurt, milkshake and smoothie bar, Iglouu, a warm welcome.

Co-owned by equal partners Simon Coward and Michael Carling, Iglouu, located on Brentwood Avenue, opened its doors to the general public on October 9th . The co-owners hope to garner trade from both Jesmond’s student population and families living in the area.

The inspiration to form Iglouu started at a milkshake bar in Leeds, where both Coward and Carling went to university. There the two would regularly pick up smoothies and frozen yoghurt between lectures. After graduating, the pair decided they wanted to bring this combination to the north east. Open seven days a week, Iglouu hopes to attract enough custom despite the weather to give a steady start and a goal of expanding throughout the region in years to come.

Carling told JesmondLocal that Jesmond was an ideal location: “we wanted to be amongst the students,” he explains. Other business owners on Brentwood Avenue have welcomed the new arrivals with open arms. Carling said that “everyone has been really friendly and really supportive.”

Lucas Morrison, owner of Arlo Bistro & Café, was just one welcoming fellow business owner. When asked about competition fears he responded: “The more the merrier! Good luck to them. It’s great to see new businesses on the street.”

Morrison did express some queries over the timing of the opening, noting that “if they make it through the winter they’ll be set for a good business.”

Frozen yoghurt was introduced in the 1970s and has since converted many ice cream lovers to the healthier dessert. Frozen yoghurt is lower in fat, using milk rather than cream as the custard base for the frozen confection. Archers Jersey Ice Cream, an ice cream shop, has recently celebrated its third birthday on nearby Acorn Road, showing Jesmond has an appetite for cold, creamy desserts.

The UK has seen a huge rise in the popularity of frozen yoghurt. Sales increased 74% between 2011 and 2013, buoyed in part by paparazzi photographs of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Iggy Azalea indulging in the snack.

Iglouu’s mascot, ‘Louu’ the penguin, will be part of the secret of the shop’s success, say its co-owners. Running active Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages in an area of students will be a vital connection through which to build and expand their customer base. Iglouu runs a weekly competition for customers to design their own ‘Louu’, with a free frozen yogurt for the best drawing. On the opening day alone several chalk penguins were drawn by customers aged between eight and 47.