At Vanilla Jill’s, happiness begins in the tummy, and not just by putting yummy things in there, but by nurturing one’s health and well being where it matters most. Megan and Tim Stevens opened up Vanilla Jill’s three years and nine months ago. I talked to Megan for a while about Vanilla Jill’s and how it got started.
After moving up to Oregon from Southern California in 1991, Megan and Tim had a desire to bring something up to Eugene that it was missing. Good frozen yogurt was that thing. After looking at mixes available to make batches of the frozen dessert, Megan was shocked to see how unhealthy all of these re-hydrated and processed mixes truly were. Deciding that this was not the way to help heal our insides, the yogurt duo teamed up with Nancy’s Yogurt and began experimenting with flavors for 6 months at home until the recipes were perfect. Soon after, they were serving up healthy and flavorful cultured soft serve yogurt to Eugene locals, giving them something they hadn’t quite had before: frozen yogurt that actually tasted like yogurt and that was good for the gut.
You may be wondering where the name comes from, seeing as I’ve been talking to this Megan person, and the yogurt shop is named “Vanilla Jill’s”. Well, the namesake is Megan’s sister, Jill. Frosty desserts have been something in both Megan and Jill’s lives since they were young. Megan and Jill’s mother used to take them down to the local 31 flavors. They’d go in style, rocking their pajamas. Jill would ask the employees at the ice cream shop to read out all 31 flavors to her, and after going through this routine (every time they’d make this trip), Jill would always choose vanilla. Every. Single. Time. From this childhood routine, “Vanilla Jill’s” is inspired. Megan also uses this name to showcase that Vanilla will forever be an available and reliable flavor. What’s froyo without Vanilla, right?
Vanilla Jill’s has three locations: their first is at 460 Coburg Rd #300, their second is a cart at 24th and Hilyard, and the Scoops and Soups location at 298 Blair Blvd in the Whiteaker, tucked behind Ninkasi’s Tasting Room. The Scoops and Soups location will be launching Sunday brunch later in the fall, around mid-late October. They already serve up a variety of Paleo and Vegan Waffles; in addition to, adding gourmet sandwiches on house-baked bread and good quality meat, with vegan options available, as well. Megan “appreciates empathy vegans have toward animal rights”. She uses Vanilla Jill’s to create a haven for vegan people as well as people with allergies, it is a place where they can go when their options are limited.
Believing firmly that the health of the body and mind begins with the health of the gut and the GI tract, you will only get good quality foods and treats at Vanilla Jill’s. Everything they serve up has the power to heal you from the inside out. They proudly serve Bone Broth Soup, a soup made from a broth that contains the minerals extracted from the bones and marrow. The health benefits of Bone Broth soup for one’s digestion, hair, immune system and brain health are endless. It is an ancient recipe that is used all over the world.
I deeply appreciate the efforts the folks at Vanilla Jill’s put forth to provide us with healthy, organic, and endlessly beneficial products. They are vegan, paleo, celiac and allergy friendly, and firmly believe in delivering amazing goodies to those who have limited options. I am featuring Vanilla Jill’s Scoops and Soups location in my very first Vegan Dishcrawl, scheduled for September 24. Tickets are available at Dishcrawl.com/vegandishcrawl. Come along if you’d like to meet Megan and hear her passion about her yogurt and your health.