Frozen yogurt may be a treat traditionally craved in warmer climates, but the Wilson family has brought it to Frisco, with the intention of making the store as warm and inviting as possible. The addition of hot drinks helps, too.Inside Cameez Frozen Yogurt and Coffee, there's a mock fireplace, lit with "marshmallows," plenty of seating - including leather couches and tables meant to be drawn on for a game of hangman - and a few flat-screen televisions, which some teenagers have already hooked their Playstations up to. The modern colors of the walls - gray, pink and bright green - were picked to make the space fun. "We wanted to make sure people feel warm eating cold ice cream," co-owner Tina Wilson said. "We wanted to create a place where people could have a conversation." "And we want people to stay," said her husband and co-owner, Scott Wilson. At Cameez, a play on the name of the couple's youngest daughter, Cammie, customers dispense their own frozen yogurt, picking from different flavors like peanut butter, banana and butterscotch. They can then add toppings, paying for the end result by the ounce. There's also a coffee station and espresso bar, which serves up Denver-roasted coffee and a homemade hot chocolate recipe that has been in Scott's family since the early 1900s.
Scott and Tina, 10-year residents of Summit County, decided to open the shop about six months ago, after visiting a frozen yogurt store elsewhere. They figured if they could make it a place where people could hang out - "a community thing," Tina Wilson said - then the idea could do well in Summit. The couple designed the space so customers rarely have to wait in line, something they both dislike. Yogurt and toppings are set up in stations, so folks can access whatever they want without waiting behind others. Drip coffee is separate from the espresso bar, and iPods are set up to take payment at customer tables, so there's no standing at a busy cash register. "One of the things we noticed was (other places) are designed to get you in and out," Scott Wilson said. "We're really more about people coming and staying." The actual product is also a little different than what most people expect, Scott Wilson said. While other places use ice cream infused with yogurt cultures, Cameez is water-based and sweetened with fructose, making it fat and cholesterol free, and low in calories and carbohydrates. But, he insists, it's still flavorful and creamy. "You could eat buckets of this stuff and not get fat," Scott said. The yogurt is gluten-free, and safe for lactose intolerants and most diabetics. In its first three weeks of business, the shop has already had quite a few customers with allergies thankful for the dessert.Customer Lena FitzSimons has celiac disease, and always has trouble with cross-contamination at other restaurants. She's fine at Cameez, and happy to see them in the community."For me, to be able to go out to a public facility and get something, you have no idea what it means," she said. "It's huge."
The couple, beyond having four children, own Colorado Backcountry Rentals and the Big Red Bus. Scott Wilson is also the chief chaplain at the Summit County Sheriff's Office. The rental business is mainly visitor-based, but the yogurt shop is "a way to still be part of the community," Tina Wilson said. In the future, the couple hopes to give a portion of the store's proceeds to education in the county. And that's why the store was designed as it is - fun, bright and modern, but warm. It's supposed to be a place where the community can get together and hang out, even after a movie (the shop is open until 10 p.m. seven days a week)."Most people think it's a chain when they see how well it's built out," Scott said. "We're not a franchise. We're just us."
What: Cameez Frozen Yogurt & CoffeeWhere: In Frisco across from Walmart and between NAPA and Christy SportsHours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. every dayWebsite: www.cameezfroyo.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cameezfroyo