Hard to believe that Halloween is just around the corner in this slowly dwindling year of 2020. With the “Interesting Times” still hanging around, the old-timey version of Halloween with parties and trick-or-treating may be shelved for this season, and the idea of “virtual” trick-or-treating seems a sad substitute for the real thing.

So, where can you take the kids (or maybe just that big kid inside you) for a Halloween trick-or-treat that’s fun and tasty?

How about visiting with the happy and helpful Ms. Haven over at sweetFrog for some build-it-yourself frozen yogurt?

A chain store that seems uniquely home-grown, Johnson City’s sweetFrog shop can be found in the shopping center located near the West Market Street Wal-Mart.

Two grinning, pop-eyed froggies flank the front door, making sure the store’s location in the shopping center hard to miss.

Once inside, you are in their clean and tidy dining area. Let Ms. Haven get your journey to frozen yogurt perfection started by sending you back-to-front, as in starting at the back of sweetFrog’s shop where the frozen yogurt dispensers are, and moving forward toward the all-important toppings bar up front. While you are back there, please note the location of sweetFrog’s neat-as-a-pin restrooms.

As you move forward, yogurt cup in hand, you can see how clean and neat Haven keeps the frozen yogurt dispensers, with no spills or drips and the floors are properly swept and mopped. Your table and chair are also well-cared for, both inside the dining area and out on the patio. The toppings bar is kept well-appointed with loose topping debris swept up, spills wiped and toppings re-stocked quickly.

Cheesecake, peanut butter and chocolate flavors

My dining partner and I, together with our dine-around bunch friend the Retiree, stopped by sweetFrog about how to remedy two cases of “sweet tooth:” theirs.

A short question and answer session with Haven disclosed that sweetFrog sells their frozen yogurt and toppings at 49 cents an ounce, having several sizes of cups for you to fill. Thus informed, my dining partner began making her selections from the array of frozen yogurt dispensers. Her choices began with cheesecake, moved on to peanut butter and finished with chocolate. Topping her selections with white chocolate chips and miniature caramel cups, my dining partner’s frozen yogurt creation weighed in at 10.3 ounces, (or $5.05). Add spoon and napkin and my dining partner was well pleased with her cold cup of yumminess.

Peanut butter, chocolate and Dulce de Leche flavors

Our friend the Retiree also chose peanut butter and chocolate flavored frozen yogurts just as my dining partner had, before making a decidedly Hispanic swerve to her sundae by adding some dulce de leche flavored frozen yogurt to her cup. Next, our friend was busy topping her selections with “wet” walnuts, some cherries and a dusting of Heath Bar crumbles before finishing with hot fudge. Our globe-trotting friend’s sundae was 10.5 ounces (costing $5.15) of pure sweet tooth remedy, and the Retiree enjoyed every spoonful of it.

Strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, Dulce de Leche flavors

Though having a man-sized sweet tooth to remedy, I was a bit intimidated by the size of sweetFrog’s “Large” cup, opting instead for the “Medium” size, which I proceeded to load with some strawberry, chocolate, vanilla and, at the Retiree’s suggestion, dulce de leche. Atop my frozen mountain clung some of the miniature caramel cups and a good helping of my favorite cereal, Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries. Lugging my selection to Haven’s scale, I discovered that I’d loaded 14.3 ounces (seven bucks and a penny) into one medium-sized yogurt cup.

The three of us sat at table happily remedying our collective dental addictions, and remarking on the care that Haven was showing to her customers. Many were young families with small children.

In Haven’s case, “doting” is too shallow a verb for how she treats her youngest customers.

“Positively doting” comes closer.

The bottom line

With this year’s Halloween appearing to be “iffy” as far as parties and trick-or-treating goes, you would do well to consider an excellent alternative and visit Haven at sweetFrog over on West Market Street in Johnson City. I can’t think of a better way to have some Halloween fun.

Just be sure you watch out, or the Brian Freeze monster will get you, like it got me.

I think it was lurking in the strawberries.

Recommended by the Mystery Diner.