FAIRFIELD -- In the oppressive summer heat, Fairfield has no shortage of places to cool off with a frosty treat. However, the area's newest frozen yogurt shop has a special twist that sets it apart.
16 Handles has enjoyed the same popularity as most new frozen yogurt shops since it opened last August. Not only is it ultra health conscious compared to traditional ice cream (each serving has only 2.5 to 3 grams of fat), it is self-serve from start to finish.
"After seeing one of the 16 Handles franchises in New York City, we liked the atmosphere as well as the idea of doing frozen yogurt `your way,'" said co-owners Erik and Lisa Mallon.
The owners said they appreciate the company being environmentally conscious and planting 16 trees and bushes a day to account for the use of paper cups. Nearly all the materials used are recyclable and biodegradable.
The 16 Handles experience starts with picking up a cup and deciding which combination of 16 flavors to choose. The flavors change occasionally and include a flavor of the month, two dairy-free sorbets and two no-sugar-added options to cater to a wide variety of patrons.
Current flavors include dulce de leche, peanut butter confession, pomegranate raspberry, red velvet cake, mango and Irish mint, as well as more traditional flavors. Each flavor is displayed along with nutrition facts on an LCD screen. What makes this yogurt unique is the abundance of healthy antioxidants and live cultures.
"It's important that everyone feels like they can enjoy themselves," Lisa Mallon said.
Cover your selection with a choice of more than 50 toppings that range from fruit and nuts, to several varieties of candies. Yogurt is priced by weight rather than by cup size, which leaves room for more options.
Business at another local yogurt shop, Pinkberry, also on Post Road, has been good as the public tries to beat the heat. "It's been busy, but maybe not as busy as last summer," said shift leader Coya Laudur, who has been working there for over a year.
16 Handles is located at 1300 Post Road in Fairfield. Call 203-292-9841, or visit their website www.16handles.com/store/fairfield.php