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Endless possiblities await at 'froyo' bar on Main

Frozen yogurt, baked goods, specialty drinks are on the menu with soups, salads and sandwiches to be added by Independence Day. Owners Dan Goleski, left, and Todd Olson said downtown merchants have greeted them warmly.

Froyo is about to become part of the Park Rapids vocabulary and Jack the moose will soon become synonymous with "a mix of healthy and fun."

A froyo bar - self-serve frozen yogurt - opened this week on the third block of Main, Dan Goleski and Todd Olson offering infinite "yummay, yummay" (to quote a preschooler) possibilities for the tummy.

Inspired by the California yogurt craze, the duo invite kids of all ages to grab a yogurt cup and create a masterpiece at the Jack Pine Café.

The yogurt bar is home to eight single flavors and four mixed, with low fat, no fat and sugar free options. The froyo frolic can include as many flavors as desired, along with dry toppings - ranging from gummy bears to granola - and fresh fruit and nuts.

The price is based on total weight, Goleski explained. "You're the boss."

Yogurt flavors will vary from week to week. Staple yogurts will include non-fat vanilla, Ghirardelli chocolate, wild strawberry and peanut butter (the number one seller in California). Butter pecan, cookies and crème and pomegranate, along with sugar-free chocolate and strawberry will also tempt taste buds.

"When we considered the purchase, we determined (the business) had a good foundation, but something was missing, Goleski said.

The missing ingredient: "liveliness. We're adding color and sound" with a spoonful of whimsy and a balanced menu (currently in the planning stages) of soup, salads and sandwiches, Goleski said.

The menu will be simple to eliminate the wait, Olson said of catering to 30-minute timeframes for lunch.

"With an objective that every single item is amazing," Goleski said. "If it's so so, it hits the road."

The café will continue to serve the specialty drinks - latte, cappuccino, mochas, Italian sodas, smoothies and Chai tea.

And all of it will be under the watchful eye of Jack the moose, the antlered fellow the creation of 16-year-old artist Annie Schweigert of Ramsey, a family friend.

"People come up here to get away from the city," Olson said. "We hope they appreciate the north woods atmosphere."

A quiet backroom with newspapers available will welcome adults. Checkers and other board games will entertain families on rainy days.

"My dream is children saying, 'I loved my eighth birthday' because we had it at the Jack Pine," Goleski said.

Jack will greet customers from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.