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Chilly Fillmore's - Nacogdoches
Posted 11 - 14 - 2012

Photo: Standing in front of the penguin Chilly Fillmore are from left, store employee Abby Martin, customer Jim Iyoob with Etech and General Manager Erin Bure.  Photo by Margaret Grant                                                          

Chillin’ at the yogurt shop

By Margaret Grant

Nacogdoches County
Chamber of Commerce Intern


Nacogdoches is home to many of the firsts in Texas.

Our fair city produced the state’s first newspaper, first pipeline and first wine cellar.

Add to that list:  Chilly Fillmore’s Frozen Yogurt.

A year and a half ago, owner Brian Donlinger placed the first Chilly Fillmore’s store in Nacogdoches, serving residents a tasty variety of design-it-yourself frozen yogurt treats.

Located west of Stephen F. Austin State University on North Street, the business employs 13 friendly workers.

“Our mission is to provide customers with the highest quality frozen yogurt and freshest toppings in a friendly, clean and cool environment,” manager Erin Bure said.

Nacogdoches is a town full of residents, newcomers and college students that welcomed the frozen yogurt business and gave Brian the right opportunity to make the vision a reality.”

Bure said the shop’s location and its reputation for “coming up with unique flavors keeps customers interested and wanting more.”

Inspiration for new flavor combinations comes from other sweet treats. “We think about flavors that go together for desserts that work in frozen yogurt format,” Donlinger said. “I’m working on a cherry icebox cookie and also a cinnamon waffle.”

One self-described “frozen yogurt addicted” customer, Jim Iyoob, Senior Vice President Global Development at Etech, makes a regular stop at the business to brighten his day.

“Chilly Fillmore's has a fantastic product. Along with the ever-evolving variety of yogurt flavors, it has a truly friendly staff and clean, enjoyable, fun environment,” he said.

The interior colors pop with a bright orange and green-colored “cool” theme featuring the Chilly Fillmore- the penguin that has become the trademark of the business. Donlinger had several versions of the penguin drawn including one with him carrying his lumberjack axe that connects with SFA students. Bure said the penguin was chosen as the business mascot because, “when you think of frozen yogurt, you think of being cool, and when you think of being cool, you think you a penguin,” she said with a wink.

The store has always had 10 different frozen yogurt flavors available in a self-service area, and customers can make their own custom bowls of the treat themselves, mixing as many of the flavors as they like. Also available in self-service style are at least 20 toppings ranging from fruit to chocolate candy to nuts and syrup toppings and an interesting fruity flavored product named “boba.” At the counter, the yogurt cup is weighed to determine the cost, and then the customer can even choose from a variety of bright color, plastic spoons for the finishing touch.

“You can create your own yogurt masterpiece, or they will make combination suggestion for you,” Iyoob said.

Because all of the frozen yogurt flavors are created and produced in the store, one of the business’s main marketing strategies is what Donlinger calls the “four-season flavor,” and this is what he says “keeps customers and competitors guessing, ‘what’s next?’” The four-season flavor concept is “flavors will change every week according to the season, customer wants as well as feedback gathered from the store’s web and social media sites.”

According to Bure, Chilly Fillmore’s has used a “trial and error” method to create the perfect selection of different flavor combinations. “Cake batter has been the number one best selling flavor since day one and still holds that position,” she said.

Donlinger is now working to open the second Chilly Fillmore’s Frozen Yogurt location in Dallas with plans to soon open the third store in the Houston area.

Community involvement and contribution is a continuing practice for the business. Fundraisers are held for local organizations and groups such as youth sports teams.A portion of the particular day’s total sales are donated to the fundraising group.

Meanwhile in Nacogdoches, a new delivery service has begun for the city limit area. Bure said, “Cups of certain premium yogurt goodness can be delivered to homes and offices and customers can still add yummy extras that will make their treats one of a kind.” More about the delivery options can be found at the store or on the web site,

According to Iyoob, delivery is a nice option, but he enjoys a visit to the store and encourages others to do the same. "If you haven't been to Chilly Fillmore's, you need to get there,” he said.

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Chilly Fillmore's Frozen Yogurt

2023 North St., Ste. 101

Nacogdoches, TX 75965

(936) 564-2665

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