So, a long time a ago and far far away from Chitown, I went to The Maret School in Washington, DC. A historical, cute, but massive structure on top of a hill in Woodley Park/Zoo area of DC. There, amongst many students was Laura Smith.
We both graduated in the same class in 2004, and besides being ridiculously intelligent, Laura had the uncanny ability to make everyone around her smile and laugh at will. After graduating from UVA in 2008, Laura’s current endeavors have not ceased to amaze me.
Laura Smith, is now a proud business owner. She is the mother to a fresh idea and more importantly, fresh yogurt. Yola, her new organic brainchild, will be opening sometime soon in October (actual date is TBA). It is located at 1323 Connecticut Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036.
Yola’s mission is simple:
We seek to encourage thoughtful consideration of our food. We believe in natural ingredients, not long lists of chemicals with unpronounceable names. We rejoice in wholesome breads, creamy yogurts and nutritious smoothies. We like our coffee bold and fresh from the farmers. We affirm our right to relentlessly pursue innovation in restauranting, health, and society as a whole.
Yola will feature a “create your own” parfait bar with tons of toppings ranging from the exotic to the mundane. It will also feature a wide range of smoothies and delicious juices. Yola will be a proud member of the small number of places in DC that will offer up superfood smoothies; for the smoothie newbies, these smoothies contain vegetables, high antioxidant fruits like blueberries and rich fats like flaxseed oil). But fear not, Yola also has regular smoothies for the less adventurous. And to all you coffee connoisseurs, Yola will be stocked with high end coffees and baked goods and daily-made grab-n-go eats/sammies made in-house or locally by the likes of Taylor’s Sandwiches.
Try that on for size.
Yola is geared towards being a community space (equipped with free Wifi)! So all you college kids with nowhere to go for those meetups, don’t forget about Yola (granola is good brain food)!
As for pricing and curb appeal, Laura says:
The prices are set with unlimited toppings. We did this because we figured that there is only so much “real estate” in a cup, so for places that charge by the topping, you are really just paying for variety. And we didn’t want to do that to ya.
Of course, this whole experience is a never-ending war between trying to keep prices down, but also trying to source locally/organic etc. We’re doing our best to keep those numbers down!
As for differentiating ourselves, it will be clearer once we are open. We wanted to keep a little mystique…for now…
Right now, Yola is smack dab in the middle of an intense certification process with the Green Restaurant Association, in hopes to be branded “Certified Organic” as many of Yola’s products will be organic and locally sourced. They are also finishing up construction.
I am so happy for Laura and I wish her all the best! I can’t wait until the opening (I will post the opening date as soon as I get word)!
Check out YOLA on:
Or, go peek in the windows:
1323 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC, 20036