Vita: Nature + Culture

The real deal on fro-yo

A war needs conflict and competition.

After an energetic exchange on the Facebook site, ‘Eating Out in Tassie’, This Girl was thinking there might be a frozen yogurt battle being waged on the streets of Hobart.
Vita salted caramel yogurt with spiced, stewed pears. NGL, I sort of wanted to do indecent things to this cup of frozen yogurt.
My children both prefer White Cow, but they’re philistines whose loyalty is easily bought with mini M&Ms.
Vita – hands down.
Definitely White Cow.
(Excerpts taken from the online discussion)

So I sent an invite to Ms Kitty for frozen yogurt; 9.30 am on a Saturday morning. What was I thinking?

She turned up.
I chose salted caramel yogurt, fig compote, apple cake and caramel sauce. Ms Kitty had vanilla yogurt, poached pears and caramel sauce. We caught up, relaxed and watched on as yoga mats,
Lora Jane, baby boomers, and families came and went.

In the name of research, I tried the competitor. I could have been eating lollies and soft serve ice cream; Cold Rock without a 16 year old with paddles, mixing sweets into ice confectionery. I
watched on as shoppers came and went.

My attention was tuned to Vita, so I called up Chloe Proud and Iain Todd of Ethos Eat Drink fame and asked them if we needed a UN intervention.

Iain and Chloe tell me the market in Hobart is big enough to sustain a number of businesses doing similar things; there’s room enough for all.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

When there’s a market, interest is generated; it’s good for everybody. Vita is sure of itself.

We offer a different product, if you prefer something else you can go there and if you prefer what we’re doing you can come here.

What’s on offer at Vita is bespoke.

Our point of difference is that we have chefs, chefs who know how to harness the seasons, how to make real flavours, how to use real sugars.
As testament to their claims they point to product sourced locally, supporting the viability of an industry flailing nationally because of chain supermarket price wars. They have an arrangement
with third generation farmer Aiden Direen from Mount Cygnet Dairy, who’s bought 30 extra cows just to supply Vita. He milks the cows, he processes the milk, he brings the milk to the shop, and then Ethos chefs make the yogurt, controlling the process from the paddock to the plate.

There’s no powders or concentrates. It’s not formulaic.

It’s the real deal.It’s like seeing your ex-partner’s new girlfriend. It’s totally okay, but you still think, ‘I’m prettier than her’. That’s no contest.

If you pick up their flyer you’ll see they proudly state they use sugar. Not chemical sweeteners, just a small quantity of the white powder we love, but not so much that it’s cloying. If you
want to taste real yogurt, full of the cultures and probiotics that your tummy is craving for, this is the place to go.

Word of warning: if you’re accustomed to the sweet stuff, your palette might be in for a shock.

Work with it.
Chloe and Iain invite you to push the boundaries. Not further than you ever thought you’d go before, but back to basics: real food. This is an opportunity to re-tune your taste buds.
Most of the toppings are also made in house. Although in the name of accessibility you’ll find a few commercial products, mostly with kids in mind. They’re less inclined to go out on a limb
when it comes to trying something different. You won’t find gummy bears but you might discover chocolate-coated almonds and a white chocolate goji berry mix made in house.

Aside from the product, the stand out is the aesthetic. These guys have created a beautiful, clean space with minimalist furnishings, soft serve machines set into the wall, one counter with toppings and white glazed brick tiles. It is a space to dwell and a massive difference to the bustle of an enclosed shopping mall.

Hobart has been lacking a really lovely, light, convivial space that doesn’t have anything to do with a bar and having a beer.

There are those suspicious of the space and a shot across the bows has claimed Vita is pricey. The difference is immaterial at 10 cents per 100 grams. Buyer beware: the cup size is upsized at
Vita, so if you’re counting your pennies, just don’t fill up the cup.
They’re also producing a line of cold pressed juices. They’re combinations you won’t get anywhere else, made within a day or so of sale and the best way juices should be made. The juices are at the
high end though. I enjoyed mine with its mint and lime, but I was determined to finish the half litre at around $8, the most I’ve paid for a juice EVER. [Sucking in of breath]

This Girl reckons they’re on to something though. I picked up a loyalty card because I intend to go back. We reckon you should develop a relationship with Vita too. Enjoy the food, the space, and
feeling like you’re part of something wholesome.
Visit them at 100 Elizabeth Street, Hobart.
Find them on Facebook here.
Here’s a link to the Ethos website.
The last time I blogged with Ms Kitty was at Myabi, find it here.
Here’s the Eating Out in Tassie Facebook page.
About Iain and Chloe
Iain Todd is the master chef behind Ethos which he’s been operating just three years although it feels like Ethos has been part of Hobart’s culinary landscape much longer. In 2007 he opened the
cutting edge restaurant Piccalilly with a colleague. Chloe Proud, locavore, with qualifications in politics and environmental science, is well placed to manage an establishment based on integrity and sustainability. She joined Iain months before the launch of Ethos and now they’re business and life partners.
I’m a fan of the office romance.

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