Frozen Yogurt Shop Tutti Frutti Opens Its Doors on Telegraph Avenue

Photo: Tutti Frutti recently opened on Telegraph Avenue despite the presence of many other frozen yogurt shops in the area.
Summer Dunsmore/Staff
Tutti Frutti recently opened on Telegraph Avenue despite the presence of many other frozen yogurt shops in the area.

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The presence of frozen yogurt in Berkeley shows no sign of waning as the new Tutti Frutti shop - which opened on Telegraph Avenue Friday - raises the number of yogurt shops on Southside and in the Downtown to eight.

The new store is located at 2380 Telegraph Ave., the space formerly occupied by Ryno's - a locally owned frozen yogurt shop which closed in November 2010. Thora Tan, manager of the Tutti Frutti location, said the process of opening the store was relatively easy because the surrounding community expected a frozen yogurt shop at the location.

"Some people come expecting Ryno's to be here," he said. "Even though we are Tutti Frutti now, they want frozen yogurt, and they will get frozen yogurt."

Since Tutti Frutti replaced anotherquick-service restaurant, Tan was not required to apply for a restaurant permit with the city's Zoning Adjustments Board, according to Roland Peterson, executive director of the Telegraph Business Improvement District. However, Tan was required to apply for a business license, which he acquired in mid-November of last year.

The number of quick-service restaurants in the Telegraph Avenue Commercial District is limited to 30, a quota set by the zoning board. However, Peterson said the board can make exceptions to the quota and issue additional permits to store owners. Currently, there are 43 quick-service restaurants in the district.

Managers and brothers Thora Tan and Henry Tan said Tutti Frutti - with its 14 flavors - will be the Bancroft Way Yogurtland's main competition and added that at $0.29 per ounce, Tutti Frutti offers the lowest price of frozen yogurt in the district.

"Competition is healthy," Thora Tan said. "It will not drive prices down."

Four of the eight frozen yogurt shops in the commercial district - Yogurtland on Bancroft, Yogurtland on Shattuck Avenue, Tutti Frutti on Telegraph and Creations on Shattuck - are franchised, and with the pending opening of Pinkberry on Telegraph, the number of franchised frozen yogurt shops in the area will increase to five.

When Pinkberry acquired a permit to open as a quick-service restaurant in September 2010, co-owners Deric Ng and Christine Limpin-Ng of Papamingo on Channing Way appealed the zoning board's decision to grant the permit on the basis that another frozen yogurt shop would prove detrimental to the diversity of shops in the district and would take away business from locally owned shops.

The appeal was supported by the seven other yogurt establishments, including Ryno's. However, the Berkeley City Council upheld the zoning board's decision.

The opening of Tutti Frutti has failed to produce such contention from local businesses and the community. Peterson attributed the lack of conflict to the fact that Tutti Frutti replaced another frozen yogurt shop.


Contact Amruta Trivedi at [email protected]

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