Tuesday May 17 2011
Former dental hygienist seeks to satisfy sweet tooth
By: Menka Belgal Telegraph correspondent
Darcee Rotz moved from Portland, Oregon, to El Dorado Hills two years ago. After settling in, she decided to buy YogaBerry — an organic frozen yogurt place in Town Center overlooking the water. There, she manages 15 employees, their scheduling and payroll, all vendors, and is the purchasing agent. Every other day, she personally buys organic fresh fruit to be used as topping on the yogurt and flavoring. When the El Dorado Hills Farmers Market opens, you may see her there buying fruit for her shop. What do you love most about your job? I love interacting with my customers. We have cultivated a following at Yogaberry. We know many of our customers and their families by name. We are a very personal shop, which makes us a regular stop for many families in El Dorado Hills. What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you? The most interesting thing that happened to me was taking a leap of faith from a secure job in the healthcare field (as a dental hygienist) to owning and learning a new business. This has been a decision I am so grateful I made. What are your three favorite yogurts? My three favorite yogurt flavors are: Valencia Orange, Dulce de Leche Custard and our Only 8 ingredient chocolate. How do you create your flavors? Beginning with organic yogurt, we infuse fruit in the yogurts. I custom make all of the flavors and sometimes have to special order items from other areas of the country, as they are not available locally. For instance, we get Madagascar Vanilla from the East Coast. We also do flavors for the sports teams that we sponsor and have names that go along with them. What is your favorite movie and why? My favorite movie is “Gone with the Wind.” It is a timeless classic. It’s my mom’s favorite movie. I have memories of my mom and me watching it together and I now have the same tradition of watching it with my daughter. What are your favorite hobbies? I enjoy traveling, especially abroad. The most recent trip our family did was to the Galapagos Islands, mountains in Ecuador, and to Bogota, Colombia. My husband grew up in both Afghanistan and Bogota. I visited a farmers market in Ecuador, which was amazing. I also volunteer, am an avid reader and gardener. My goal this fall is to become a Master Gardener. I’ll be taking classes in the fall through the county. Where do you volunteer? I volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County and will be a weekly driver for Meals on Wheels soon. I did it in Portland for years. Tell us about your family. My husband, Steve is an engineer at Micron Technologies. We have 3 fabulous kids: Christopher 26, who is a personal trainer in Portland, Oregon, Lindsee who’s a senior at St. Francis High School, headed to the University Alabama to study marine biology, and Hayden who’s a freshman at Oak Ridge High School and is on the Capital Crew team. We all work at Yogaberry. It is definitely a family run business. What causes are you passionate about? While Yogaberry sponsors and contributes to many community causes, our primary beneficiary is the Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County. What is something about you that people might be surprised to learn? My parents had an Italian restaurant when I was growing up. I worked there as a sous chef. The restaurant business wasn’t something I wanted to pursue however I still love to cook and be creative with food. Instead, I went on to become a dental hygienist.