MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Steamy summer days draw us in hordes to frozen yogurt shops to cool off with a swirl of sweet relief.

But there can only be one serving up the Best of Minnesota, and it’s Sweet Toppings in Andover.

“It’s a self-serve concept, so after you have tasted and decided what you’d like to have, you get a cup and can dispense as little or as much as you’d like,” owner Shirley Fairbanks said.

That’s right. You can fill, scoop and drizzle to your heart’s desire.

Fairbanks first opened the Sweet Toppings door four years ago, and it’s been a hit in this Twin Cities suburb.

It was a bold move for a former kindergarten and special education teacher.

“I loved it. I loved teaching and I felt I wanted to do something else that I loved for 22 years, and I wasn’t quite sure what that was,” she said.

Then the light bulb went off while on a Florida vacation.

“They took me to my first frozen yogurt shop. I loved it, and I really stepped back and observed what this frozen yogurt concept was,” Fairbanks said. “And I thought I can do this, and five month later opened up Sweet Toppings.”

It is a place that’s cozy, like your living room. There’s a fireplace for winter, picnic blankets for summer and a stack of board games for the kids.

“I wanted a feel that wasn’t a typical frozen yogurt or ice cream shop with bright lights and loud music. I wanted a calming, cozy, comfortable environment,” Fairbanks said.

From book clubs to bridal showers, Sweet Toppings is a neighborhood hangout.

“It has become more than just a stop to get frozen yogurt. It’s really a gathering place,” she said. “I love kids and I like having a fun and yet safe environment for kids to hang out.”

And the frozen yogurt is pretty amazing, too.

“The taste of the frozen yogurt has to be wonderful to get customers to come back,” she said. “I think a lot of it has to do with wonderful customer service. They are dedicated and friendly. And I think it’s the environment. Customers want to be here when they walk in the door.”

Sweet Toppings is excited to announce that soon they will also be serving sandwich cookies with froyo filling, Belgian waffles and made-to-order froyo pies.

Some of your other favorite frozen yogurt businesses were Fro Yo Soul Mobile Bus and Yogurt Lab.

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