Olo Yogurt Studio opened its doors on Sept. 4 in the heart of Nob Hill with some of the best fro-yo you’ve ever drawn from a tap. Located just east of Boba Tea Company and across from Kelly’s Brew Pub, Olo fits right in with Nob Hill’s eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. In case you’re wondering—Olo is not a franchise, but a dream made real by four creative entrepreneurs. This self-serve frozen yogurt shop sparkles with the energy of owners Paula Griego, Matthew Pope, Tom Haines and Precious Haines. Bold swaths of color swoop from the wall to the ceiling, drawing customers into the bright, contemporary space designed by local architect Mark Baker.
A native of Mora, N.M., Griego completed her degree in biology at UNM, then a masters in public health at Caltech, where she said she subsisted largely on yogurt. She imagined that Albuquerque could use a state-of-the-art yogurt shop and, within a year, the quartet joined forces to bring the idea to fruition. Working with a Small Business Administration mentor who was impressed with their business acumen, they knocked out a plan for the enterprise that is now Olo Yogurt Studio.
Olo’s frozen yogurt is the real deal—no powdered mix-and-freeze here. The process used to create the vibrant flavors guarantees live, active cultures in the product. There are 10 flavors available on tap at any given time. A typical selection might include White Sands vanilla, Chacoholic, Silver City strawberry, dulce de leche, Nob Hill cheesecake, lady in red velvet, groovy mint, Pecos praline 'n cream, Trinity original tart and pomrazz tart—every one richly flavorful. You can find this week’s list of flavors on Olo's website. A refrigerator case also offers Greek yogurt for customers who prefer their cultures unfrozen.
But this is only the beginning. Follow the signs and take a cup to the stainless steel taps. Once you have your yogurt(s) in a cup, there are more than 45 toppings to crown your dish. Fresh fruits are cut every morning. Candy corn, tiny cubes of delectable and sweet mochi, nuts, syrups, a variety of crunchy bits, shredded coconut—a raft of tasty embellishments are yours for the asking. With items such as biscochitos, Salman Ranch raspberry sauce and pecans from Las Cruces, Olo’s New Mexico roots are well represented. Finish it off with a swirl of whipped cream and weigh in at the register. At 41 cents an ounce, you can customize a treat that satisfies your palate and your pocketbook.
If the excitement at Olo seems over the top, Precious Haines tells me she and husband Tom are getting ready to celebrate Griego's and Pope’s upcoming wedding. Maybe, instead of rice, they should shower the bride and groom with goodies from the toppings bar.