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Ocean City

OC Swirl: Serving Up Frozen Yogurt

If you are in Ocean City this week, you may notice a couple of changes as you drive down Coastal Highway. The speed limit, normally 40 mph through North Ocean City, has been reduced to 30 mph, and Downtown, the speed limit has also been reduced. This is due to the expected, unauthorized H2Oi Pop-Up Rally.  It is reasonable to expect heavier than usual traffic, noise and strict enforcement of vehicle laws during the week and weekend.

The word is out — or is spreading like wildfire on Instagram.  Pictures of frozen yogurt with endless toppings flood the social media channel.  Nobody who participates in Instagram in Ocean City, including all the Stephen Decatur students, could miss the latest message: frozen yogurt like you haven’t had it in Ocean City, MD has arrived and seems to be a hit.

OCSwirl has opened at 1806 Philadelphia Ave and offers not only frozen yogurt in 10 flavors each day + the “swirl” option that brings your choices up to 15 daily, but over 60 different toppings.  They have an espresso bar offering LaVazzo Coffee.  They have a 99¢ coffees  (Only $1.98 for a coffee and a bagel making it the cheapest breakfast on the beach!)  There is a cereal bar with 10 kinds of dry cereal.  Everything is sold by weight and the toppings for the frozen yogurt can be added to your cereal — if you so choose.  Gummy worms are popular toppings for mixed cereals for the younger patrons on vacation according to Pamela VillaSanta, one of the owners, a long-time summer resident of Ocean City and a former Baltimore realtor.  

Pamela and the restaurant’s co-owner Sue Mistretta were working in Baltimore as realtors and would frequent the frozen yogurt restaurants for lunch.  Both were also Ocean City lovers.  Pamela grew up coming to Ocean City.  Both her family and her husband’s owned homes here.  Her children have been spending summers in Ocean City since they were born.  Sue is from a small town in upstate New York, is an accountant, spent 6 years in Baltimore, and joined Pam in the dream of opening a business in Ocean City.  

Sue describes the offerings — besides all the yogurt, toppings, espresso, coffee, and cereal, OC Swirl also has homemade cannolis, chocolate thunder cake, and bagels.  There are smoothies and  homemade lemonade. They will be offering iced coffee drinks soon, and may offer other local baked products.

“This is an activity,” states Pam as she describes children adding unlimited toppings to their yogurt and cereal.  She sounds like the Montessori teachers as they describe the perfect day in school — learning as they experience.  “There are levers to pull, spoons to scoop, bowls to choose, syrups to add.”  There will be red, white and blue toppings for July 4th.  This is the dessert equivalent of Build a Bear.  You don’t just buy dessert, you design your own, choose EVERYTHING, and end up with a unique creation that can be healthy — with the unsweetened yogurt and fresh fruit — or can be as decadent as you like — chocolate with syrup, cookies, candy, and marshmallows.  Regardless of what you choose, all the yogurt is good for your digestive system with its live and active cultures and all of the flavors are either non-fat or low-fat.  So go ahead — choose “light” or be decadent.  It’s all relative and OC Swirl keeps you in the healthy range!

Pamela and Sue left Baltimore, deciding it was high time for frozen yogurt in Ocean City and have embarked on a grand adventure with experiential eating at it’s center.  We agree and we are going.  OC Swirl’s ribbon cutting is scheduled for Monday, July 2nd at 4 pm at their new store in the Village Market Shopping Center.  Refreshments will be served following the ceremony and there will be door prizes from Suns of the Beach, K-Coast, Davinci’s, Malia’s and more.  
With the heat as high as its been, I’m heading to OC Swirl for a cold, refreshing frozen yogurt today — and I haven’t decided what I’m adding — yet!  Won’t you join me?

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