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Having grown up in Boulder, and being both a foodie and interested in basically any lower calorie alternative (that tastes good!) to anything else, I was surprised I discovered Boulder Chill only a few months ago and only after being swept away in the initial hype of self-serve yogurt when Ripple opened.
Owned and founded in 1990 by Boulder local Doug Gunn, Boulder Chill had originally existed as part of a yogurt franchise called I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt!. In the early nineties, Doug bought the store’s independence from the franchise and deemed it “Boulder Chill”.
Sure, for a while, I found Ripple to be quite fun. I even dubbed it ‘fairyland’ and swore to never love another thing more. That is, until I ventured into Boulder Chill, the quaint, modest shop just down Folsom from where I live. I went in with low expectations, and came out in the throes of a new love affair.
Doug Gunn sums it up nicely. “We just won the Best of Boulder in the Boulder Weekly,” Gunn said, “and we are sort of a one-stop shop for frozen treats.”
Not only do they sell soft-serve YoCream frozen yogurt, which Doug Gunn calls “the Cadillac of frozen yogurts,” they also offer Carbolite, which is sugar-free and Dream Delite, which is low-lactose. Both Carbolite and Dream Delite frozen yogurts are fat-free, low-carb, low calorie, and great for diabetics or anyone looking for a guilt-free dessert, like me… I can eat a whole pint at one sitting and feel great about it!!!
That’s not all though. Boulder Chill also has 100% dairy-free soft-serve sorbet, and the traditional hand-dipped ice cream, sherbet and sorbet. “We do really well with those items with seniors and little kids… and boyfriends of sorority girls,” Doug says.
Hear that ladies? Bring your boyfriend along for your diet-friendly indulgence and he can get something that won’t make him feel like he’s sacrificing part of his manhood.
Any soft-serve at Boulder Chill tastes smoother and creamier than the dense, heavy versions sold at the ever-increasing self-serve shops around Boulder. “It tastes better than soft-serve ice cream,” Gunn says, “so you don’t have to mask the flavor with toppings.”
I agree with that one-hundred percent, but in case you want toppings to compliment the flavor, he offers over forty.
Boulder Chill can also whip up shakes, malts and smoothies, and, Doug says, “we sell a tremendous number of cones–a bunch of cake cones and waffle cones that aren’t in a self-serve setting. Some folks like to eat the container.”
Finally, Doug Gunn happily explains that the most important thing about Boulder Chill is customer relations. “We probably know seventy to eighty percent of our customers on a first-name basis and probably fifty to sixty percent of those get the same thing every time they come in.”
“So if we see them get out of the car, we can have their order, toppings or no toppings, ready and on the counter for them before they even walk though the door.”
“That’s invaluable,” Doug adds.