Kim Nguyen, a chemical engineer, decided it was time to treat central Ohioans to the fresh stuff.

By now, the thought of more frozen yogurt is enough to give central Ohio a big brain freeze.

But Kim Nguyen, a chemical engineer by education, is trying to change people's perceptions of the frosty confection. In mid-September, Nguyen will open Yaourt (the French word for yogurt) in the Sun Center on the Northwest Side.

What separates her store from the multitude of other purveyors is that the yogurt will be made in house using low-fat, hormone- and antibiotic-free yogurt and milk. Also, frozen fruit puree will be used to flavor the different options, 25 in all. Flavor profiles run from tart to creamy.

"If you have quality ingredients, you will have a quality product," Nguyen said.

Sure, she will have candy toppings, but she'll push fresh fruit and nuts.

"Other stores say, 'We are all about the toppings,' " Nguyen said. "We are all about the yogurt."

Her journey started about a year ago, while she was finishing her MBA at Ohio State University, where she also received bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering.

"It's a combination of all my experience and training," Nguyen said.

Her original intent was to open an ice cream shop or gelateria, but she said she was intrigued by yogurt because of the upward trend and healthful aspects of the dessert. Finding an appropriate location was paramount.

The store, 3652 W. Dublin-Granville Road, is located just east of Whole Foods, between Bath & Body Works and Pure Barre, a fitness facility.

The center, she said, is suited to her target audience: females between the ages of 18 and 25. She knew the pitfalls of opening a restaurant, but she forged ahead.

"It's a risk, but it's a risk worth taking," she said.

The other part of Nguyen's story reads like a movie script. In 1982, she escaped via boat in the still of the night from Vietnam and came to Columbus to live with her uncle. While in the U.S. Air Force, where she served as an officer, she sponsored her entire family – 11 siblings and both of her parents – to move to America.

Nguyen, 46, will continue to work as an engineering manager for a dishwasher-detergent manufacturer. Two of her sisters will manage the yogurt shop. The place will be open daily. For more information, go the store's website, www.yaourtfrozenyogurt.com.

And you thought $25 in free casino money from Scioto Downs was a big deal.

Rally's will up the ante, so to speak, when it gives away free food Sept. 8 at its renovated West Side store, 700 Georgesville Road. The first 100 people in line by 10 a.m. will receive free combos for an entire year. The giveaway is part of the Tampa-based burger chain's nationwide rebranding effort.

There are three local Rally's. Better get there early, store officials say. About 300 people lined up by 9 a.m. at the first local promotional event Aug. 25 at 3260 E. Broad St.


Tandoori Grill is now open on the Northwest Side. It's an expansion of the Apna Bazaar grocery store, which also had a small restaurant in the back. New to the menu are the karahi kebab (chicken, beef or lamb), tandoori chicken salad, channa masala and a few desserts, including gulab jamun. Tandoori Grill, which seats 40 in 1,400 square feet of space, is at 808 Bethel Road. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner six days week. It is closed Mondays.

Closed: Don Christos Pizza, which made it less than six months in Powell, and Mulan in Lewis Center.