Upon further research, I discovered that the fro-yo “craves” have been going on in California since ca. 2005 which was where owner Phillip Park of Caliyogurt first discovered this tart-tasting creamy delectable. Being an entrepreneur Phillip seized the opportunity to create his own brand of fro-yo, now offered at his Caliyogurt stores.
When I asked why he decided to open a store in Downtown Clearwater, Phillip chuckled and said, “It was totally by accident”. He elaborated and told me that Joy Gendusa, member of the Clearwater Downtown Partnership, was referred to his Tampa location for an after dinner dessert from a neighboring restaurant. Phillip said Joy started coming to his store regularly; “nearly every day”. Then she started bringing her other friends and associates - Jennifer Lindsay, Debbie Ward, Shannon Johnson and others- all the way from Clearwater to taste his froâyo. He said Karla Jo Helms brought her own cooler just so she could take back a supply of Caliyogurt to Clearwater. Finally, his new fan club started to persuade him to open a Caliyogurt location in downtown Clearwater bringing in more and more troops. How could he resist?
Many months were spent on the renovations of the space on Cleveland Street, which is a treat in itself. Phillip collaborated with Jennifer Lindsay, Artist and project manager of Jennifer Lindsay Designs (jenniferlindsaydesigns.com) to create a beautiful and modern shop in downtown Clearwater.
“We used eco-friendly products all over the shop; our custom blend floor and counters are made out of recycled glass and mirror…We specified a unique ‘wave wall’ that is eco-friendly and some low voltage lighting, among other items. We decided to create a healthy environment in which to enjoy our healthy product! We fully accomplished this”, Jennifer Lindsay proudly reported.
On August 26th, Phillip Park celebrated the grand opening of his Downtown Clearwater Caliyogurt with City officials, other business owners and many of his newfound friends and fans.
So there you have it, we now have the first “eco-friendly” store in Downtown Clearwater, at 519 Cleveland Street. It’s a refreshing new place to enjoy guiltâfree, all-natural, fat-free, fro-yo and visit with old friends and make new ones.
- Tampa Bay Informer
The Good News Newspaper