by: PHOTO BY: KYLIE WRAY - Debbie Cameron brings granddaughter Evelyn in for frozen yogurt and colorful butterfly gummies at Oregon City's Yo Factory.Russ Tapio, whose father and two brothers run the first Yo Factory frozen-yogurt shop in Battleground, Wash., and his wife, Jemina, have always loved frozen yogurt and they saw a need in the Oregon City area.

Opening last month in the Oregon City Shopping Center, Yo Factory’s frozen yogurt is YoCream, an international brand made in Portland. Russ Tapio said that self-serve frozen yogurt is a great community builder.

“Everyone loves frozen yogurt,” he said.

by: PHOTO BY: KYLIE WRAY - Before she moved on to the toppings, Evelyn chose vanilla frozen yogurt, helped by her grandmother, Debbie Cameron.Russ Tapio’s favorite flavor combinations are chocolate and salted caramel corn yogurt, with Reese’s peanut butter cup pieces and magic shell syrup when he’s feeling a major sweet tooth, and original tart yogurt with fresh yogurt if he’s in the mood for something refreshing.

Yo Factory strives for a friendly, family atmosphere. On Tuesdays, they run a family special: Buy five cups, get the sixth free.

On a Wednesday afternoon, Debbie Cameron brought her granddaughter, Evelyn, in for a treat. Evelyn quickly picked her favorite frozen yogurt — vanilla — and moved onto the main attraction: the toppings.

Yo Factory has 65 toppings including crushed candy, nuts and rotating fresh fruit. After loading up with sprinkles and gummy bears, Evelyn, 4, was drawn in by the colorful butterfly gummies. Her grandmother let her have a bright orange one to match her shoes.

“Your parents are not going to be happy with me,” Cameron said.

To top it all off, Evelyn requested whipped cream and a pink spoon.

Yo Factory offers a different frozen yogurt flavor option once or twice a week. The Tapios always try to provide a nondairy and no-sugar-added option. In addition, frozen Greek yogurt and the staples, vanilla and chocolate, are always on the menu. They also take requests for new flavors; lemon is on its way.

Most of the yogurts are gluten-free, excluding cake batter and cookies and cream, and none of the yogurts contain high-fructose corn syrup.

“You get to get what you want,” said Jemina Tapio, who prefers basic vanilla loaded with nuts, brownie bites and caramel. “You can come in and get a small and not pay $4 like you would somewhere else.”

For the Tapios, the most challenging part, so far, has been the long hours. Yo Factory is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays. But frozen yogurt takes a lot of preparation, and Russ Tapio says they typically are there from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. But his favorite part is getting to know people in the community and seeing them happy.

Their customers are from a wide range of demographics and people often come in and order cups of frozen yogurt for their dogs. The most recent canine fan was a Yorkshire terrier that tasted his owner’s vanilla yogurt and wanted his own. “He was shivering afterward,” Russ Tapio said.

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