Ho­bart goes with the fro- yo

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Graeme Phillips

VITA 100 El­iz­a­beth St, Ho­bart CBD. Open daily 8am to 8pm. 6231 1165

VITA is Ethos Eat Drink’s lat­est ven­ture – Ho­bart’s first self- serve, frozen yo­ghurt place which opened a fort­night ago. Be­hind the white- tiled wall of the small, bright lit­tle walk- in space, four large Ital­ian ma­chines dis­pense an ever- chang­ing se­lec­tion of eight Ethos- made frozen yo­ghurts.

All are gluten free and nat­u­rally made with no pow­ders or con­cen­trates – and there are al­ways two, pro­duced from co­conut and soy milk, that are dairy free.

On my visit last week, the avail­able flavours were nat­u­ral, choco­late, vanilla, banana, mixed berries, chai, co­conut and honey soy.

Cus­tomers help them­selves, add their choices from a se­lec­tion of fruit, nuts, salted caramel, hazel­nut crumbs and other top­pings, and pay by weight. They can eat at the in­side or out­side ta­bles or take it to go.

Ap­pro­pri­ately named, it is cer­tainly a lively place. In their first five days of trad­ing they sold 450 litres, or about 2000 serves of yo­ghurt.

And there’s been no let- up since. So much so that the sup­plier of their un- ho­mogenised milk, Ai­den Direen at his Friesian and Jersey dairy near Cygnet, has bought 37 additional cows to keep up with de­mand. But that’s not all that’s hap­pen­ing at Ethos. The ad­join­ing Tas­ma­nian Map Cen­tre, Tommy Gun Records and Syzygy gift shop have moved, al­low­ing Ethos part­ners Iain Todd and Chloe Proud to open their street­front provi­dore at Ethos, of­fer­ing a wide se­lec­tion of sal­ads, char­cu­terie, cold dishes, cof­fee, cakes and Schwartz sand­wiches all day, plus a large re­tail range of Ethos- made and Tas­ma­nian food prod­ucts.

Be­hind the provi­dore is their new Atrium Room, the de­light­fully re­fur­bished back room of the orig­i­nal Ashbester Chemist, which dur­ing the day will serve as seat­ing for the provi­dore and ac­com­mo­date an ex­tra 30 din­ers in the restau­rant at night.

Down­stairs they’re turn­ing the maze of orig­i­nal sand­stone rooms into a walk- in se­lect- your- own wine cel­lar, a tem­per­a­ture­con­trolled cheese room, the cold room where they break down and age their meats and char­cu­terie cuts and, still to come, an un­der­ground Tas­ma­nian whisky/ beer/ wine bar.

Schwartz across the road will be­come their day­time prep kitchen and pro­duc­tion cen­tre for the Tas­ma­nian Juice Press’ re­tail range of pure, cold- pressed fruit and veg­etable

juices be­fore be­com­ing a yak­i­tori and ra­men eatery called 3 Ja­panese with a fully qual­i­fied Ja­panese chef.

At the time of my visit, much of it was still a hive of builders, dec­o­ra­tors, hang­ing wires and tired staff, with chef Rob Brooke run­ning around with big buck­ets of yo­ghurt and Ethos chef Vince MacDon­ald im­pa­tiently await­ing the kitchen ex­pan­sion for his new menu.

Floor man­ager Alice Chugg, mean­while, was off with ev­ery­one’s best wishes to the fi­nal judg­ing of the Young Restau­ra­teur of the Year awards.

It is tir­ing, but ex­cit­ing times. And, by the time you’ve read this, most of the new op­er­a­tions should be, or will soon be, up and run­ning.

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