Behind an unassuming brick façade across from a Sunoco station hides a delicious frozen treat. Rogan’s Corner looks like your average gas station convenience store selling chips, soda, candy and cigarettes. However, it goes beyond the typical mini-mart fare; Rogan’s Corner sells fried food, pizza and sandwiches, but the frozen Chobani Greek Yogurt is the star of the menu.
Last semester, Ithaca’s two standalone frozen yogurt stores, Smart Yogurt and Yogurtland, closed, leaving everyone I knew at Cornell devastated. Many of my friends were especially sad to see Smart Yogurt close, as it offered a large selection froyo made with Chobani Greek Yogurt. The froyo machines inside Jason’s Grocery and Deli in Collegetown remained the only solution to a froyo-craving, but the icy consistency and limited flavors of Jason’s froyo didn’t ease the loss of the smooth and creamy Chobani froyo from Smart Yogurt.
At Rogan’s Corner, customers can customize their froyo selection with the flavor, toppings and sauces of their choosing. Rogan’s Corner serves six different flavors of Chobani froyo, including “Vanilla Voyage,” “Sea Salted Caramel,” “Cookies ‘n Yum,” “Happy B-day Cake” and “Tart.” The sixth flavor tends to rotate; when I visited it was “Strawberry Shortcake.”
The toppings bar has many classic accoutrements like M&Ms, chocolate chips, sprinkles and Oreo pieces. There are even some healthier options like fresh fruit, slivered almonds and granola. The edible cookie dough — in red velvet, chocolate chip cookie and brownie batter flavors — and cheesecake pieces are a necessary addition to any creation.
I filled my cup with Tart-flavored yogurt and topped it off with chocolate chip cookie dough, snowcaps and Oreos. The yogurt was creamy and not too icy, and the sweet toppings were the perfect complement to the tartness of the yogurt.
The service at Rogan’s Corner is what it needs to be to accommodate a self-serve froyo establishment. There are usually one or two registers open which move customers in and out very efficiently. Many of my friends know Rogan’s Corner for its froyo, but the majority of the crowd was purchasing beer, cigarettes and a bag of chips or a slice of pizza.
After I paid for my froyo — which is priced by weight — I sat at the tables next to the register. There is additional bar-style seating which overlooks some beer taps and the kitchen. I sat amongst a few older gentlemen watching college football and eating pizza and subs. The tables and chairs were clean, but the overall atmosphere of Rogan’s Corner reminded me more of a dive bar than a frozen yogurt shop. I ended up finishing my froyo in the car.
The no-frills setup at Rogan’s Corner does not measure up to the modern, clean and relaxing vibe of the now-closed Smart Yogurt. I used to sit at the tables in Smart Yogurt and talk with my friends for hours. I would stay long enough to get up for second and third helpings of yogurt because I was enticed by the large variety of flavors. However, I felt no reason to remain in Rogan’s Corner for longer than it took to fill my cup with yogurt.
Rogan’s Corner serves its purpose: to quickly satisfy a craving for Chobani froyo. I place a high value the creaminess and tartness of the froyo and the ease with which I could order and eat. Rogan’s Corner has a more limited selection of flavors and toppings. However, when I am tired, hungry and in need of study break, Rogan’s Corner has enough variety to satisfy my sweet tooth. I even have the option to grab a bag of candy or chips and a drink from another section of the store.
Rogan’s Corner is open until 9:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and until 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, so it is the perfect late-night snack or study break. Because it is lower in fat and calories than ice cream, froyo is the perfect treat for when you want something sweet, but don’t want to feel too guilty about indulging.