Kosher Frozen Yogurt?

If YogiCastle was just another Dupont frozen yogurt store (we’re up to 8 by my count), it wouldn’t merit mentioning on this blog.  But YogiCastle has a kosher twist.

The store opened about four weeks ago, and during the first weeks of its operation, its colorful flavor guides bore the OU kosher marker ().  OU is the symbol of the New York-based Orthodox Union – the biggest, and one of the most respected, kosher certifying organizations in the country.

Delicious frozen yogurt – great!  Kosher – all the better!

But as of yesterday, the OU had been removed from the flavor cards.

According to Grace Jung – YogiCastle’s marketing manager – there had been some confusion over the OU symbol.  YogiCastle receives all of its yogurt from a kosher certified organization that uses only kosher ingredients and produces a completely kosher product.  Knowing this, YogiCastle thought it would be OK (not circle K) to label its flavors with the OU.  They later learned that to use the OU marker, the Orthodox Union would have to certify not just the product, but the store.

Rabbi Sanders – kosher expert and managing Rabbi of the Vaad (the organization that certifies Eli’s, DistriKt Bistro, etc.) – offered a similar explanation.  “I think that what the manager meant was that the OU (and every other certification) only certify the mix as it is in the sealed carton from the factory.  Once it is open and being served to customers, the OU can’t take responsibility anymore.”

When asked what it would take for a store like YogiCastle to make the leap to kosher certified, Rabbi Sanders offered a brief description that did not seem overly onerous.  However, specific details and costs cannot be offered until the Vaad examines the store and its situation.

Will this happen?  Will YogiCastle become kosher?  Ms. Jung states that the store “is still considering the possibility of kosher certification.”

The kasherization costs as estimated by Rabbi Sanders certainly seem like something YogiCastle can handle, but kosher certification would also require closing for Shabbat, something that YogiCastle will probably not accept  (**Correction.  Closing on Shabbat might not be necessary.  See comments.)

End assessment: YogiCastle offers tasty, self-serve frozen yogurt for a good price, but though it uses kosher yogurt, I wouldn’t bet on it becoming officially kosher any time soon.

 

Dupont Frozen Yogurt Options:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 replies
  1. Elanit
    Elanit says:

    Not every establishment that is kosher needs to be closed on shabbat. See: Krispy Kreme, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts. In fact, regarding it’s kashrut, I would probably put Yogi Castle in the same category as Baskin Robbins. Most of the ice cream is kosher but there is no guarantee that what the store does with the kosher flavors once the containers are open will keep it that way.

    Reply
  2. Uri Manor
    Uri Manor says:

    A friend of mine just pointed out: “Interesting…..but also at the end, incorrect.
    They would not need to close for shabbat unless they were owned by Jews.
    Ex: Krispy Kreme donuts, some are kosher, like the one in Penn Station in NYC, they are open on shabbat.”

    Reply
    • Jacob
      Jacob says:

      anything “could” happen, but the word could is vague so it’s hard to respond to your statement with added value.

      Do you mean to ask why a restaurant would have certification in the first place – the general answer to that is that certification provides a grantee of a certain level of kosher to the people who want to look for that certification.

      Reply

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