Life can be a treat at the beach in Twist It, a new self-serve frozen yogurt shop in Livingston.
The surf and shore-themed business, which recently opened in the township, offers a variety of rotating flavors — a total of 24 — to satisfy the craving for something sweet.
There are still the classics — chocolate, vanilla and strawberry — alongside more unusual selections — such as blueberry tart, tropical banana and dulce de leche — to choose from.
As for toppings, the choices number well over 50 items. And they’re just as tempting. There's fresh fruit, granola, chopped up candies and a variety of cereals.
Co-owners Julie and Lowell Furhman said they opened the shop last month to offer a unique, healthy snack or dessert alternative all year round.
The seaside mural — featuring beach chairs and an umbrella — is meant to evoke a tropical atmosphere, along with the skim boards and water board used as tables. There are also actual beach chairs available outside for patio snacking.
"In the winter, you can come here and feel warm," Lowell said.
Julie also said the other goal of the shop's decor is to "have a summer feel, and we want to bring it all year round."
Twist It is the first store for the Furhmans, whose other jobs include working as a researcher for GlaxoSmithKline and an owner and manager of commercial strip centers, respectively. The North Caldwell residents also co-own the shop with their daughter, Simone, 17.
The yogurt shop replaces a vacant picture framing shop in the Starbucks shopping center at 1 W. Mount Pleasant Ave.
Sweet yogurt stylings
The store's eight self-serve machines have a shared center nozzle that allows customers to swirl two different flavors together and form a special "twisted" treat.
Pointing to various machines, Julie Furhman said peanut butter can be swirled into cookies and cream, or Eurotart can be swirled into pomegranate raspberry sorbet.
"We try to match them up so they make sense and taste good," she said.
All yogurt, supplied by YoCream, is Kosher Orthodox Union (OU) certified and some flavors are non-fat or low-fat, the Furhmans said.
The price of the yogurt and toppings are all based on weight and it goes for 49 cents per ounce.
Julie Furhman said the company takes special care to help people with food allergies — such as nuts — noting the yogurt nozzles for sensitive flavors always remain the same to avoid mixing.
Special toppings will be offered to match seasonal holidays. For Easter, Peeps, gummy bunnies and sour candy eggs will be put into the toppings bar, Julie Furhman said.
Another future development will be to offer more kosher toppings beyond crushed Oreos and Ghiradelli syrups, she added.
Livingston resident Stacey Davis, a homemaker and community volunteer, has visited the shop three times.
Davis — who made a treat with coffee and pistachio yogurt — said it was nice to have another yogurt shop in town and she liked how the store offers fat-free and sugar-free options. Davis said the staff is polite and helpful, and she enjoyed the outdoor seating.
Genevieve Hall, a financial analyst at Prudential in Roseland, recently stopped by Twist It for a cheesecake yogurt treat, topped with walnuts and chopped up Heath bar.
Hall, who visited the shop five times, said she likes the store's convenient location and the different yogurt flavors she hasn't seen anywhere else, such as Snickerdoodle, cheesecake and mint.
Store manager Samantha July said the most popular yogurt flavors include peanut butter and the pomergranate sorbet, which she described as "refreshing and not very tart."
The Furhmans encourage the public to come in their shop and give their frozen yogurt a swirl.
"The product is very good, a healthy product," Lowell Furhman said. "You should sample it. We'll guarantee you'll enjoy it."
Twist It is open Monday to Thursday from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 10:45 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.
Nutritional and ingredient information for the yogurt, along with a list of different flavors and toppings are available here. For more information, call (973) 758-9478.