There are many traits that make up a Seattleite: a disregard for umbrellas, a passion for the Seahawks/Sounders/Mariners, and an unwavering loyalty to Greek yogurt brand Ellenos. During my brief time in the Emerald City, it became a weekend tradition to journey down to Pike to stock up on a week’s supply of Ellenos yogurt, because, yeah, it’s that good. But this quintessential Seattle fare is about to be on the grocery lists of more than just those in the Pacific Northwest as the company implements its 2019 expansion strategy, which includes the introduction of a new flavor—its first in two years.
I sat down to chat with Con Apostolopoulos to find out more about Ellenos’ new Vanilla Bean flavor and its plans to induct more consumers into its yogurt cult.
“We go great lengths to make the best yogurt possible. We knew we wanted to make the best vanilla yogurt we could, and in the process, we learned that there are a lot of variations of vanilla. We did a lot of experimenting and tasting and eventually blended Madagascar vanilla and Tahitian vanilla. Instantly, I thought, ‘This is Ellenos vanilla. This is not just a normal vanilla,’” Con shared with me. “It took us a while to get the blend correct since I’m not happy with just ordinary, but the final product has the flavor we want. It has a vanilla punch, and the quality is second to none.”
Con noted that while the Vanilla Bean just launched January 26, the flavor is already a crowd-favorite, with positive responses rolling in by the bucketful. The new Vanilla Bean is available in 8-ounce and 16-ounce cups at Whole Foods Markets in Washington, Oregon, and California—yet another reason why the West Coast is the best coast, sorry I don’t make the rules. But, this won’t be the case for long—Ellenos’ exclusivity, that is. Beginning this year, Ellenos will expand its reach and enter new markets via both supermarkets and its own storefronts.
“The number one thing we hear is questions of when we’re coming to this market or that market. We are currently trying to bring our Scoop Bar to L.A. and San Francisco,” Con revealed. “We also are planning on introducing a lot of new flavors. We have a coffee flavor we’re working on launching, as well as a whole bunch of seasonal flavors.”
Con explained to me that the company’s expansion efforts are thanks to a new facility that Ellenos built and moved into in 2018. This facility has allowed Ellenos to have enough capacity to continue its West Coast takeover and even look to new markets beyond Washington, Oregon, and California.
“We go through a lot of trouble to make our yogurt, which you can taste,” Con jokes. “We make several different cultures and blend them all together to create a really nice flavor. At our facility, we hand-craft our yogurt—we don’t make it in a machine. We’re artisan and have a lot of pride in the product we put out.”
Since I don’t live in Seattle anymore, I am already counting down the days until Ellenos will be just a hop, skip, and a jump away from me. And I’m telling you, you’ll be too!
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