Author Topic: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center  (Read 6753 times)

Glenn VL

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A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« on: April 08, 2017, 07:11:06 PM »
Hey Metrojacksonville!!!! The big day is almost here. Who would have thought!  :o :o :o

I wanted to give you an EXCLUSIVE sneak preview of one of the launch articles of my blog!  8) 8) 8) And a big thank you to my editor Susan for cleaning up my typos and making everything look so nice!!!  :o :o :o

A Taste of the Town Center

The sun is shining. Hundreds of shoppers soak in the spring and buzz by. We started our journey on foot at my front door. This week's destination is The Sweet Frog. And after fifteen minutes we have arrived...

THE SWEET FROG: Saturday April 8th - 12:30PM



The curb appeal is no accident according to general manager Greg. The bright colors and whimsical frog motif are intentionally designed to reel in foot traffic and pedestrians crossing by this busy district in the Town Center.



What is this frog's name? According to general manager Greg, he is called "Sweet Frog". This inviting green character draws the attention of the hustle and bustle passing by, invoking big curiosity and even bigger iced cream sales.

When walking through the door on this packed Saturday, there is an excitement in the air. Only two tables are open, and dessertiers are carefully making their decisions. A mix of families and the in-crowd intermingle.

At this point I have the first of many choices to make.



General manager Greg tells me that they have as many as a dozen nozzles going on any given day. "Sometimes they break and we have fewer" he adds. When pressed what the best seller is, he says "probably plain". I was already eying the peanut butter and challenge Greg to use his best iced cream sales skills to turn me towards another flavor. "No, the peanut butter is fine... get that" he insists.

The dessertier chooses on of three cup sizes: small, medium or large."Most people get the medium" Greg explains. I want the authentic Sweet Frog experience so I get the medium. The next step is choosing a flavor. Various flavors line the walls tempting dessertiers. I walk towards the peanut butter. But here is the twist. The patron fills their OWN cup. Greg explains this modern style of dining is what insiders call "self served". I ask him if the proper technique is to hold the cup steady or twirl. "It doesn't really matter, it all settles to the bottom either way". Freedom of choice is what The Sweet Frog is all about. I carefully fill my cup halfway.



(intricate attention to detail: More frog motif on the pump itself)

The next stop is the topping station. The dessertier can choose between a seemingly endless array of toppers, sauces and treats to sprinkle as generously as they desire. Remember, it is all about freedom of choice. I tell Greg their must be over 100 toppers to choose from. I ask him how many there are. "I don't know, I've never really counted". I ask "Too many to count?". Greg hustles off to clean a table to make room for another diner.



The final step of the process is to pay for your cup. I have yet another choice to make at this point. A yellow or a pink spoon. I opt for yellow. I continue to banter with Greg as I make my way closer to the front of the line. I ask Greg if he would agree that no two cups are the same. "Yep" he nods. We discuss the cost as two shoppers in trendy spring attire open their bags and compare purchases ahead of us. As it turns out, cost is NOT determined by cup size, but by the WEIGHT of the cup. I jot down some notes on my pad. Ahead of us I see stainless steel scales. They look like a mix of something one would see in a state of the art medical facility and a gastropub in a trendy Manhattan foodie neighborhood. I ask Greg some hypothetical questions to better understand the economics of running a pay by the weight gourmet dessertary. If someone bypassed the iced cream all together and filled their cup with weightless toppings like mallows and riced krispie treats, could they not eat the Sweet Frog out of business? Greg lets out a laugh. I say that the iced cream must weigh more than the toppers. Greg has hustled off to clean another table.



(more attention to detail: frog motif on napkin dispensers)

The Sweet Frog integrates into the urban community with regular events such as showcasing local music.



I pepper Greg with questions about Tasty Tuesday. He won't be there. Greg lets me in on a scoop that he will be at a trade show no doubt sharing insider secrets that day. I give him by business card. We have to talk. I let him know that Tad, Ryan and I go to a lot of concerts, and I believe in supporting neighborhood businesses. i commit to coming on Tuesday with a crowd. He gives me a look. His face says it all: "This thing is getting too big".

I sit outside in the sidewalk seating. I people watch as I enjoy my one of a kind soft served. Like a fingerprint. Remember. No two are the same. I take another cold, peanut butter rich bite under the sun. It's a beautiful Saturday.

And I wish you were here.



About the Author: Glenn VL is the editor and beat writer for A Taste of the Town Center. Glenn is a West Virginia native who moved to Jacksonville in 2010. Glenn recently moved into the St. John's Town Center and offers an aspirational lens into living in the SJTC, aiming to make his readers feel as though they are right there with him.



 

« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 07:13:32 PM by Glenn VL »

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2017, 07:56:44 PM »
Nice write-up.  I felt as if I was there, standing in line behind you, wishing you would quit peppering Greg with those damn questions so that I could quell the noise coming from the two arguing kids that are with me with the FroYo goodness.

BTW, Fire Susan.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 07:59:02 PM by Non-RedNeck Westsider »
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KenFSU

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2017, 08:07:43 AM »
Great write up Glenn!!!

Some follow-up questions:

1) How much did your cup cost?
2) Why so lightly topped?
3) If a dessertier is unhappy with the weighted cost of his 'cream, is he allowed to put a few ounces or toppers bacK?
4) Any more scoops on Greg?
5) I know every day is different at the Town Center, but on this particular day, would you say that there was more hustle, or more bustle?

Glenn VL

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2017, 01:21:17 PM »
WOWOWOWOW great follow up questions KenFromFSU!  :o :o :o :o

There is something I forgot to mention in my blog post that will be added to the final version. :-[ I didn't do it intentionally but you caught me hot handed with question 1.  :-[ :-[ :-[  As a member of the media I was furnished with a free cup from Greg and The Sweet Frog. i should note that this didn't influence my review, and while I expect similar "free bies" to come my way as the blog grows and gains influence, my duty is to my reader and I will never allow it to bias my thoughts.

With that out of the way....  8) 8) 8)

1) I wanted the authentic The Sweet Frog experience so insisted on weighing my cup. (pro's tip: you don't have to add the spoon until after the weighing is complete. This can save big bucks for frequent guests). It would have been $5.22.
2) I want to try to keep religion out of my blog as much as possible, but let's just say we are in the middle of a certain season and I have given up candies.
3) I have reached out to Greg and The Sweet Frog for comment
4) Oh yes but stayed tuned! After his trade show I hope to make him one of my first guests for a feature for my blog called "A Supper With...", which combines a restaurant review and bringing the reader into a conversation as a fly on the wall with the movers and the shakers of the SJTC.
5) Pedestrians were in no rush as they soaked in the sun, so much more bustle!!!

And thank you for reading TheNonRedneckWestSider. I am so happy it is exactly the effect I was hoping for you. Like you are right there side by side with me!

I will be camping for the next two days so I will turn any other questions over to my editor Susan until then!  :o :o :o

Adam White

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 02:56:05 PM »
Glenn's Kaufman-esque level of commitment to his craft is commendable.
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

KenFSU

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 01:44:47 AM »
Based on his long post history, I'm holding out a sliver of hope that Glenn is indeed the real deal.

Adam White

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2017, 05:44:37 AM »
Based on his long post history, I'm holding out a sliver of hope that Glenn is indeed the real deal.

I really hope the blog happens and isn't a macguffin or whatever.
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

SusanUPWORK

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2017, 03:11:03 PM »
Adam, we are targetting a launch date in May. Glenn wants sufficient content available at launch, and we have had a few unexpected setbacks. Thank you for your interest.

Susan
Available for professional editing and web design work through upwork.com or private message.

ProjectMaximus

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2017, 04:01:50 PM »
O M G

So happy to be witnessing this.

Adam White

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2017, 04:29:26 PM »
O M G

So happy to be witnessing this.

It's a great time to be alive, isn't it?
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

Tacachale

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2017, 05:49:53 PM »
Based on his long post history, I'm holding out a sliver of hope that Glenn is indeed the real deal.

Keep the dream alive, Ken, keep the dream alive. I, too, thrill at the idea that a real person is capable of such delicious errors as "The Riverside", but either way, Glenn is the hero we need.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

brainstormer

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2017, 08:27:47 PM »
The mix of naivety, wit, and satire leaves me wanting more. :o

remc86007

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2017, 10:09:41 PM »
Glenn, just some friendly advice: unless you've registered "A Taste of the Town Center" with the US Government, you shouldn't be using the registered trademark symbol. You are, however, free to use ™ without registering.

ProjectMaximus

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2017, 10:35:20 PM »
O M G

So happy to be witnessing this.

It's a great time to be alive, isn't it?

It truly is a glorious time. I feel like this is a fleeting moment of perfection that only a lucky few of us are witnessing. And every time I think it can't be real or it must be over, somehow it continues and often with even more brilliance than before.

MusicMan

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Re: A Taste Of.... Gourmet Dessert in the Town Center
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2017, 11:30:57 PM »
I like Sweet Frog, too.