Former dental hygienist opens yogurt shop

By: Art Garcia Telegraph Correspondent
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Her venue may be small at 300 square feet, not counting a patio across from Town Center’s northern pond, but owner Darcee Rotz has big ideas for the YogaBerry shop. She purchased the place in mid-February from Francine Ramos, who opened it two years ago. A grand opening and ribbon cutting are set for Thursday, April 29. Tiny as it is, the store received a major overhaul when Rotz took over. “We completely gutted the place and remodeled,” she said. Fresh paint, colorful photos on the walls and a recent additional of a third yogurt machine allows for two lactose-free sorbet flavors. The upgrade includes all new cabinetry, new lighting and a 52-inch TV mounted inside with a 42-inch set to be installed in the patio for warm-weather viewing. For now, music indoors and outdoors mostly serves as entertainment at what Rotz hopes will become a teen hangout. With arrival of the patio TV and steady warm weather, she’ll host movie nights outdoors. A new waffle-cone machine adds another dimension to the self-serve yogurt offerings made fresh daily and sold for 38 cents an ounce. The basic, always available flavors are chocolate and vanilla, with strawberry, pina colada, cheesecake, blueberry, pomegranate, acaii, orange, cream and others on and off the menu, all with fresh fruit toppings, as well as nuts, M&Ms, chocolate chip and other top-offs. Rotz, 47, and her husband, Steve, 48, a marketing manager at Numonyx in Folsom, co-own the store but Darcee runs it, her first venture as a business manager. “I’m having a blast,” assured the cheery former dental hygienist for 10 years who wanted to open the business “to do something on our own.” The Rotzes, with their daughters Lindsee, 16, a junior at St. Francis High School in Sacramento, and Hayden, 13, an eighth-grader at Rolling Hills Middle School in El Dorado Hills, moved to Serrano in El Dorado Hills a year ago from Portland, Ore., where Steve worked for years for Intel Corp. Christopher, 24, attends school at Portland State University. “You’ll never see Steve here,” Darcee Rotz said, “unless something goes wrong and then I call him,” though he did install the light fixtures and cabinets. She’s keeping busy on her own, focusing on community involvement by having YogaBerry sponsor the Oak Ridge High School girls’ basketball team, a Little League team and a local Cub Scout pack. “My kids are involved. It’s really fun,” she said. The Oak Ridge state champ basketball girls are her “yoga models,” posing for merchandise and photos on the walls.” The team signed autographs on a recent Sunday at the YogaBerry patio. YogaBerry does catering and is booked to serve its products and flavors for the Oak Ridge High Senior Day and for a community Realtors’ event at Mercedes-Benz of El Dorado Hills. Rotz is open to supporting other youth and community activities. She essentially kept on all prior employees and now has 10 teen workers, all students at Oak Ridge High or Folsom Lake Community College. Among them are the Rotz sisters and a new hire, Oak Ridge High football quarterback Will Tostenson. “We love living here. Folsom Lake is where we like to hang out on our wakeboard boat,” Rotz said. She also loves gardening and cooking, a carryover from growing up with a father who owned an Italian restaurant. YogaBerry hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.