We spoke with Michael Tirokos, co-owner of Y’OPA Frozen Yogurt. Michael’s mother, Mary Jo Tirokos, is the second partner behind this delicious Portage gem. Also along for the interview was Susan Forgas, general manager of Y’OPA and self-proclaimed FroYo Queen.
Michael and Susan, both Indiana University grads, joined to combine their business backgrounds and create a shop that is more than just another kids’ frozen treat place. Michael’s goal is to be the Starbucks of frozen dessert. Michael, a born entrepreneur, comes from a family of business owners. That, along with Susan’s background working in the restaurant industry, especially her last gig in a frozen yogurt shop, helped birth the idea of Y’OPA.
Michael’s family is Greek. Opa is an expression used in celebration, often at weddings, birthdays, and other family events. The term brings to mind friends, family, fun, and culture. Michael cracks a smile as he reminds me that yogurt is made from culture. Opa! “Experience the culture.”
Y’OPA is a locally run, non-franchised business opened in 2012. It sits in Portage Centre Plaza at the crossroads of Centre and Shaver along with Water Street Coffee Joint, Bab El Salam, and Lodo Company.
Customers can join the loyalty program to collect points and earn free product. Loyalty members also enjoy random specials available only to them.
Vegan options at Y’OPA:
At least two are available each day - (one soft serve flavor and one Italian ice or sorbet) -
- Tango (a blend of tangerine and mango)
- Coconut milk
- Tiger’s Blood
- Kiwi Strawberry
- Blue Raspberry
- Valencia Orange
- Pink Lemonade
- Pomegranate Raspberry
- Fresh Fruit (bananas, strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, berries, and more!)
- Raspberry Syrup
- Peanut Butter
- Assorted Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts)
16 oz. cup - 55 cents per oz. (average cup runs $5-6)
- Tuesday - Customer Appreciation Day (double points)
- Wednesday - Kids’ Day (half off)
- Sunday - College Day ($5 all-you-can-fill with college I.D.)
Y’OPA Does Catering!
Grad parties, weddings, birthdays, family events, and more.
Want to know if your favorite flavor is in? Send a Facebook message or call the store.
Thank you, Michael and Susan, for taking the time to talk to VegOut and for supporting the vegan community!
Y'OPA is open 7 days a week from 11 am to 10pm, and they will have extended summer hours beginning in June.
Make sure to tag your photos: #vegoutatYOPA #iLoveYOPA
Photo: Courtesy of Y'OPA Frozen Yogurt