Remember that dream you had once when you ate a huge bowl of ice cream and didn’t feel guilty? Anne and John Nguyen, the owners of Tropical Frozen Yogurt in Kona, are making that dream a reality for their customers in a tasty way. They own one of the few frozen yogurt shops in the U.S. that serves DOLE WHIP, a famous frozen yogurt alternative. We’re happy to confess that this is one of our favorite spots in Kona for an “ice cream alternative” afternoon break!
According to the creator of the dessert, Dole Plantation on Oahu, DOLE WHIP soft serve is a delicious alternative to frozen yogurt made with real pineapple juice. Like frozen yogurt, it is smooth and creamy. But it is dairy free and just 20 calories per ounce. To offer customers healthy options for toppings, Anne and John cut fresh fruit every morning and offer everything from low calorie to low sugar options. For those with specific dietary requirements, Tropical Frozen Yogurt also has organic and gluten free topping options to add to any DOLE WHIP creation.
The Nguyen’s success story is truly one of an aloha spirit. Anne and John moved to Hawaii to get away from their fast pace lifestyle in Orange County California. Shortly after moving, Anne expressed her desire to make a living making people happy. What better way to do that than with frozen treats near the beach? The couple puts in about 100 combined hours a week at their shop, and, according to John, they love every minute of it. They do very little advertising, but word of mouth recommendations from locals and tourists have created a large enough businesses for the couple to devote full time hours to their dream. Anne, who has a background in child development, said she loves to see the smile on a keiki’s face when they realize the hundreds of options they have for their ice-cream creations. John told us he gets a laugh out of repeat customers who’s bowls, he has noticed, get continually heavier with each repeat visit. John says he doesn’t work primarily for the money, instead he gets joy from dealing with happy people. And, they tell us, on the rare occasion that a family on vacation in Hawaii isn’t having a good time, one bowl of frozen yogurt or DOLE WHIP later, and they’re often leaving with smiles.