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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Yogurt Culture

Inside Sweet CeCe’s in Newburgh, cheerful shades of hot pink, lime green, and orange brighten the strip-plaza space. Corrugated metal lines the cash register counter, lending an industrial, modern contrast to the sugary-sweet wall colors. With frozen yogurt machines, candy dispensers, and a bar of fresh toppings around the perimeter, the restaurant feels open and uncluttered.

Sweet CeCe’s blend of sense and style isn’t by chance. Architect John Barnett designed the yogurt shop’s original location with his firm, B3 Studio in Nashville, Tenn. His mother-in-law, Connie Devine of Newburgh, fell in love with the concept: a self-serve frozen yogurt shop that lets customers build their own creations with candy, fresh fruit, and other toppings.

With a group of friends and relatives (including Barnett) as co-owners, Devine, a retired third-grade teacher, opened Indiana’s first Sweet CeCe’s in February near the Newburgh Walmart. The shop offers eight rotating flavors of low-fat frozen yogurt, including staples such as vanilla, chocolate, and original tart and the more exotic blueberry, cake batter, and red velvet. Customers fill a cup with frozen yogurt, then move along the display of toppings: gummy bears, nuts, chocolate candies, raisins, and more. The cold bar — with fresh-cut berries, pineapple, kiwis, and other fruit — is the final stop before the cash register, where customers pay by weight.

The concept is simple, refreshing, and surprisingly healthy, says Devine: “It’s a fun, happy place to be.”

For more on Sweet CeCe’s, see our dining guide.

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