Yogurt topped with art

A new coffee and yogurt bar that caters to health nuts recently opened in Laguna Beach.

Located at 1006 S. Coast Hwy. in the old Video Works building, Active Culture Yogurt and Health Bar is the first in town to offer USDA-certified frozen yogurt, smoothies and shakes, an owner said.

"We wanted to promote a clean, active lifestyle and saw a need for it in this health-oriented community," said Faye Clapp, who co-owns the bar with her sister-in-law and fellow Laguna resident Jennifer Clapp.

On the menu are five flavors — dark chocolate, vanilla, sweet tart, and raspberry and peach tarts. For those who want something more indulgent but aren't concerned with keeping organic, the bar also offers "naturally flavored" cookies 'n' cream, peanut butter, cheesecake, non-dairy pomegranate sorbet and no-sugar-added vanilla flavors.

With more than 30 toppings including fresh fruit, organic granola, nuts and grains and chocolate, the combinations are endless.

Perhaps even more popular than the yogurt, Clapp said, is the Bountiful Breakfast Bowl, a mix of Greek yogurt, acai, granola, mixed berries, flaxseed and agave nectar.

It also offers a brown rice bowl and array of vegan and organic dairy shakes and smoothies, and will soon add a "create your own shake" option to the menu.

An ultra marathon runner who wants something tasty and energizing, Faye said the Chocolate Bliss Shake is her favorite.

"It's made with raw cocoa powder and has a coconut base, so it's rich and creamy without the saturated fat," she said. "This one is also 100% percent organic."

Longtime residents who loved and miss (Martin) Diedrich's Coffee may be happy to learn that he's returned with Kéan Coffee, an all-organic and fair trade line that is also available at the bar, along with a variety of organic sugar, soy and dairy creamers.

In keeping with their "local" theme, the Clapps are also lending the large space as a satellite gallery for Festival of the Arts.

Nicknamed FOASouth, the gallery is now displaying black and white landscape prints of the late photographer and FOA exhibitor Stillman Sawyer.

Active Culture's "winter hours" are from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

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