Iso Roobertinkatu 7
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There’s really nothing that can beat an ice cream – or is there?

What has been a hit for quite few years over in the States and other European cities has finally landed in Finland as well. Introducing: frozen yogurt. Now, yes, it has been available from the supermarket freezers before and there have even been the odd stalls at markets that may have provided a taster of its goodness, but the very first permanent frozen yogurt shop Kippo now stands at Iso Roobertinkatu in Helsinki.

Getting started

Founded by two brothers, Jyri and Lasse Järvi, Kippo opened its doors to the public in February. Not the most hospitable of months in Finland for the marketing of the cold stuff with temperatures at approximately 20ºC below zero, the wee store kicked off well nonetheless and now with the warmer weather at hand it is more often than not crowded with customers.

“Of course the weather plays a huge role on how busy we are, but in general it’s all taken off pretty well. Our customer base has grown a lot without really any advertising,” Jyri Järvi confirms. He is the manager of the Helsinki store, while his brother Lasse lives across the ditch in San Francisco. “The idea to open a frozen yogurt shop initially came about from my brother in the States. Over there these places have been around for a while and they are hugely popular, but there was none yet here. We decided to give it a go.”

Kippo was set up in the old location of the sneaker store Popot, which now inhabits a much larger area across the road. The shop space was renovated entirely by the men behind the frozen yogurt shop. The minimalist Scandinavian look is completed by the wooden features designed by Tomas Danska, and the simple logo has been crafted by a friend of the brothers, graphic designer Antti Valta.

Frozen yogurt has been a hit in the States for years.

A taste of the good stuff

While the machine that pumps out the yogurt rumbles on the background, Järvi demonstrates what the fuss is all about. The customer can choose the size of the kippo, or cup if you wish, which is filled – and I mean filled to its capacity – with the white freezing cold delicacy. Then is the time to choose toppings to your liking, with one of the options being pollen.

“Pollen is one of the super foods that is packed with vitamins,” Järvi explains to this sceptical writer.

Apparently it doesn’t cause an allergic reaction either, even for those with hay fever – so I decide to try it while Järvi still emphasises that I do so with my own risk. Crunchy, somewhat comparable to pistachios minus the salt. Not at all bad. Despite a slight paranoia over what I thought was an itchy throat, I experienced no reaction to the stuff whatsoever and the yogurt itself was absolutely delish.

If you’re not so keen on trying something that far out of your comfort zone, not to worry, there’s plenty to choose from on the more regular front of toppings. Everything from berries and dried fruit, to nuts and chocolate chips wait to be sprinkled over your chosen portion.

A small kippo will set you back 3.70 euros and a large one 6.50 euros. There’s also a secret option for those who love coffee, called Kippo Chino – frozen yogurt topped with an espresso. For those with a real sweet tooth there’s also jätti or giant, which is a huge cup that can be filled with frozen yogurt and all the toppings you wish for 9 euros. It’s another thing whether anyone is really capable of finishing one!

The yogurt used to create the final product at Kippo is organic and comes from Juvan Luomu, an organic producer from eastern Finland. “We try to use organic product as much as is possible and we also use soy milk on request for all coffees,” Järvi comments.

On top of frozen yogurt Kippo’s offerings include a list of carefully crafted speciality coffees that can be enjoyed on site or grabbed along take away cups. A latte will set you back 3.50 euros, cappuccino 3 euros and espresso 1.50. There’s also a few varieties of tea and, of course, smoothies. These come in two sizes as well with the small one priced at 4.30 euros and the large one at 6.50.

Petra Nyman
Photo: Tarja Sirkiä