On a philanthropic stint overseas in 2009, married couple Rebekah and Jahleel Shelling (aka Jay) got hooked on a dessert in Israel.
“We came across this blended-frozen-yoghurt store,” Shelling says. “You could select different ingredients and have it blended through a yoghurt.”
Back in Melbourne they got to work putting that experience into a truck. Jay’s Yogurt has been on the road since February 2015, and last month the couple opened a shop in Richmond.
“Even though we were at different events and different festivals we had a lot of people who wanted to come back,” Shelling says. “Because the truck didn’t have a roadside spot where we parked once a week we could never tell people exact locations.”
The yoghurt at Jay’s is a bit different from the soft-serve version most of us have grown to know. First you choose a base: frozen yoghurt, banana or coconut. This solid block goes into an auger machine – a giant drill bit, essentially – that pulverises the block and mixes it with fruits, nuts, cookies and whatever else takes your fancy. At the end, nuts and sweets selected from a “dry bar” are sprinkled on top. The result is perfectly smooth but for the texture of the add-ons.
The truck offers a frozen-banana base and pot-set yoghurt made from St David’s Dairy non-homogenised full-cream milk, but the vegan coconut base is new to the shop.
“We’ve been able to increase our menu,” Shelling says. “We’ve added smoothies and acai bowls. Then we have our Masterpieces which we’re really passionate about, and they’re more exotic ingredients.”
Masterpieces are set combinations. Lola’s features lychee and pomegranate topped with pomegranate molasses, raspberry crumble, vanilla wafers and mint. The popular Bella’s has strawberry and Nutella topped with coconut, chopped white and dark chocolate, Pocky sticks, a Nutella-dipped strawberry and Persian fairy floss. Both the Masterpiece menu and pick-it-yourself options will change seasonally.
The small store features pink tiles, light green signage and Tasmanian oak joinery, which all matches the tone of the natural, transparent product and the existing food truck. The narrow space currently has three tables and nine seats and there are plans to offer outdoor seating soon.
186 Swan Street, Richmond
(03) 9078 5718
Sun to Wed 12pm–9pm
Fri & Sat 12pm–11pm