A yogurt shop may seem an incongruous venture for a family that owns a gym, but a closer look will clear up any confusion. It’s not strictly for dessert, and in fact its owner Barry Borgen opened it to provide healthier snack choices for the customers of his Green Fitness Studio and to satisfy vegan and kosher eaters in the neighborhood.
The cafeteria-style yogurt, salad bar, and coffee shop is open on Varet Street, just beneath the gym. The store front is all glass; look up to see the nature-inspired mural painted by local youth artists from the mural project Big City Walls.
Verde has frozen yogurt in eight flavors from classic chocolate and vanilla, to flavors like "tart" and red velvet cake. Do-it-yourself toppings include candies such as M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces and various fruits. Even the syrups and cones are billed as vegan. The cost is calculated by weight — $.39 per ounce.
Unless you want frozen yogurt for lunch, there are other options for eats. Grab a soup for between $2.50 (small) and $3.50 (large), make your own salad ($.50 per ounce) or sandwich ($.40 per ounce). Bagels, danishes, and cookies ($.75-$2.25) might not be consumed by the gym crowd, but are made in Brooklyn and would fulfill any carb craving.
If you’re used to lunching in Manhattan, Verde Yogurt Shoppe doesn’t break ground in menu selection, but locals seem pleased with the addition to the industrial area. One customer, Matthew Sykes, from the local custom screen printing shop Werdink.com, is particularly excited about the vegan options. "There aren’t a lot of places to have lunch in Bushwick if you don’t eat animal products," Sykes said.
Kosher luncher Yossie Yurowitz has been working in the area for 10 years, and comes regularly to the shop for lunch. Grinning as he bought a cup of coffee, Yurowitz said, "finally I don’t have to rely on my wife brown bagging for me."