Late autumn might seem like a counterintuitive time to be opening a frozen dessert business in New Paltz, especially with so many other ice cream shops about. But that didn’t deter Alyssa Lisanti, who describes herself as a “diehard” fan of frozen yogurt. “I will go in a snowstorm and eat yogurt. I used to go to TCBY all the time, and I would be so sad when TCBY would close for the winter. And I’m sure that there are others who feel the same way.”
So when opportunity knocked to open a new business in the same plaza as LaBella Pizzeria — owned by her mother, Maria Lisanti — Alyssa jumped at the chance, bad timing or not. And so it was that Delish Frozen Yogurt Café came to open on November 10 at 188 Main Street, right next door to Convenient Deli. “We’ve done a complete renovation on the space,” which previously housed the thrift shop called #5 Boutique, according to the younger Lisanti. “You wouldn’t recognize it.”
In the rear of Delish is a large lounge that can accommodate up to 20 people. “People use it for birthday parties, teen events; there’s a woman who comes here with her book club; next month someone has it booked for a baby shower.” It has also become a popular afterschool gathering place for students from New Paltz Middle School. “We get a big crowd when they have co-rec dances on Friday nights,” Lisanti reports.
The front of the store features a “really long wavy bench” that seats about 15 people. But the main attraction is the self-serve setup, starring five frozen yogurt machines, each holding two flavors that can be dispensed separately or swirled together. An effort is made to pair the sometimes-exotic flavors in intriguing ways, says Lisanti, such as Espresso with Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel to create a macchiato combo.
The ten rotating flavors, which change every week, might also include Blueberry Tart, Cherry Lime Sorbet, Moon Pie or Rice Krispie Treats in addition to more conventional offerings, plus non-dairy sorbets for the lactose-intolerant. Patrons also get to choose from an array of “a little over 50 toppings,” ranging from nuts, fresh fruits and brownie chunks to Gummi Bears, Reese’s Pieces and Junior Mints. Vegan and gluten-free options are available. Cups come in two sizes, Lisanti explains. “You get your cup, you put your yogurt on, you put your toppings on, you weigh it at the end and then you pay based on the weight,” at 50 cents per ounce.
How has business been? “So far, so good,” says Lisanti. “We’re right across the street from the middle school, and walking distance from the college. Teachers come in here on their lunch hour for yogurt, middle school students in midafternoon when school lets out and the college students a little later.”
Typical winter hours at Delish are 12:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday, although the shop will be closing on Sundays for January and February. “In summer we’ll extend the hours,” Lisanti promises.
And having a Mom in the pizza business just a couple of doors down presents a great opportunity for “Dine at LaBella, dessert at Delish” specials: You’ll get a coupon for 15 percent off your frozen yogurt when you purchase your pizza or other meal at LaBella. Sounds like the perfect lunch out for New Paltz families on the go!
For more info, call Alyssa Lisanti at (845) 256-9866.