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Redefining Local Culture

December 14, 2010

White chocolate mousse is a favorite. So is pomegranate and peanut butter.
And while it seems creamy and totally indulgent, the yogurt has few calories and this frozen yogurt has the live active cultures found in regular yogurt. Fresh fruit toppings make this a unique healthy treat.
Bart Smith, owner of Local Culture, says this is a healthy alternative to ice cream.
“Eating healthy does not have to mean sacrificing delicious,” Smith said.
Local culture is located in the Cotton Crossing Shopping Center next to McAlister’s Deli. Open since October, the unique concept and yogurt has had a wide appeal locally.
But this is not a TCBY-type of place. Smith describes his yogurt as “second generation,” with a focus on the live active cultures that makes regular yogurt healthy. All dairy and non-dairy yogurts are certified through the National Yogurt Association, which guarantees a healthy percentage of live active cultures per ounce, and that’s important to Smith.
Smith said this is a trend he has seen in New York and along the West Coast that has been wildly popular, and it was his goal to bring his ideas for healthy yogurt and a relaxed atmosphere to a “Southeastern Conference” town.
He chose Starkville due to the expected growth rate for the community in the next five to 10 years. Smith predicts Starkville’s growth in the next few years to outpace other SEC towns, giving his business an opportunity to grow along with the community. And a steady supply of new college students is always a plus!
The atmosphere at Local Culture is relaxed, colorful and modern. His intention was to create a space where people of all ages can meet, hang out or stop by after supper for dessert.
“I wanted the place to have an organic, natural feel to it,” Smith said. “I didn’t want this to be an ‘impulse’ place, but a ‘destination’ spot.”
And the yogurt keeps people coming back for more. Vanilla Bean is always one of the 10 flavors available every day. There will also be three varieties of chocolate yogurt available. The remaining six flavors change daily. People follow the store of Facebook, Twitter or the website to see what new flavors are in store at Local Culture. Many are creamy, others are fruity, Even those who are lactose-intolerant can find something to enjoy.
And there are endless varieties of topping combinations. Smith prides himself on the fruit toppings prepared fresh daily. There are also a variety of cereals, candy and syrups to make any bowl of yogurt customized to taste.
As customers enter, they are given a bowl and are allowed to create their own yogurt “masterpiece.” When they have “every good thing” added to their bowl of yogurt, they return to the counter to weigh the bowl to check out.
“You shouldn’t have to give up dessert to be healthy,” Smith said. “And this is a great place to discover healthy desserts.”

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