Top This vs. Crumbs

Raspberry or original tart? Customers peruse the day’s flavors and serve themselves frozen yogurt. | Photo by Farrel Levenson '11 and Blythe Lewis '13

Westport residents agreed that Main Street is the center of the town; it’s where the community comes to shop, work, hangout…and eat. Yet those who come to Main Street looking for a sweet snack are presented with a decision to make: cool yogurt at Top This or a decadent cupcake at Crumbs.

Top This is the newer of these two choices and it opened on May 22.  It serves frozen yogurt in a variety of different flavors; at least one option is changed each week.

Large assortments of toppings that can be added to yogurt, ranging from diced fruits to Oreo bits, are also available for their customers.

An aspect of Top This that differs from other frozen yogurt stores is that customers have the ability to both serve and add toppings to the yogurt themselves.

“I like making it myself, you can taste any flavor. I like making new combinations; It just tastes fantastic,” said Top This customer Amy Fields.

Top This also appeals to those who want to have something sweet without consuming hundreds of calories. The non-fat yogurt has about 90-110 calories per half cup according to Top This owner Louise Coastantini.

Crumbs Bake Shop opened their Westport branch on April 18 2009 and many Westport residents remember the mammoth lines at the shop when it first arrived.

“Now that we’re in our second year, we’re meeting more new customers, which is fantastic. We love being part of the Westport community,” Gary Murrow, vice president of store operations for Crumbs said.

Crumbs is best known for their artisanal cupcakes, they offer 50 varieties of cupcakes — with a new one introduced each Monday according to Murrow. They also serve a wide range of other items, including coffee, cookies and other pastries.

In fact, Crumbs customer Carolina Stubbs said she that she and her children liked to get black and white cookies at Crumbs, not cupcakes.

However Stubbs was not enthusiastic about all the items served at Crumbs, “They don’t have great coffee,” she said.

One aspect of Crumbs that all its customers appreciated was the interior and location.

Though both shops are literally right around the corner from each other, Top This owner Louise Coastantini did not feel they are competing for customers.

“We both serve a different type of sweet tooth,” she said.

Top This owner Louise Coastantini did feel that her business thrives most in the summer, but she doesn’t think her shop will be empty in the winter.

“It’ll stay strong in the winter, it will not be what it is now, but will still be good,” she said.

Customer Amy Fields felt that the weather and season played a large role in Top This’ appeal.

If it’s a very cold day, I might not be in the mood for frozen yogurt,” she said.

However, Stubbs said that regardless of season she preferred Top This simply because Frozen Yogurt is more appealing to her.

Many people prefer frozen yogurt because they are turned off by the massive amounts of calories that Crumbs cupcakes have.

How many calories are in a Crumbs cupcake seems to be a closely guarded secret, Crumbs management chose not to respond when asked this question.

Though all the customers interviewed had been to both shops, most said they frequented Top This more frequently.

They viewed Crumbs as an occasional treat and Top This as an everyday eating option.

“I’ve been to Crumbs many times; I much prefer Top This. I find that the cupcakes are way too decadent, they are also very pricey, you are just eating tons and tons of sugar,” Fields said, who eats at Top This three to four times a week.