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PROVO — The inspiration for Yuki came to Dan Purdon while he was on vacation in Kyoto, Japan.
On a hot day, he visited a sit-down dessert shop and ordered a shaved ice. He said it wasn’t anything like the frozen treat he had at fairs growing up.
“When I tried that, it kind of blowed my mind and I realized (shaved ice) could be really good and gourmet, even,” he said. “Right then I actually wanted to bring it to the states — I already knew I wanted to do something. So it kind of rolled around in my head for an amount of years.”
After attending culinary school and working in various restaurants, Purdon opened the shaved-ice shack Yuki in Provo three years ago. Now he is working on a plan to take the stand mobile next season.
Yuki specializes in using fresh, natural ingredients for the syrups. Classic flavors include strawberry, watermelon and spearmint, but there are also rotating seasonal flavors that range from peach to a quirky roasted jalapeno or beet.
“We just go to the farmer’s market every week to look to see what is good and get some inspiration,” Purdon said.
The stand garnered a following of fans, but has struggled to maintain a steady location. Yuki lost its original spot after a new business moved into the area, crowding the parking lot, according to Purdon.
Through the process, the idea of going mobile has been a repeated theme. Purdon said his team hopes to have a food truck ready by the summer of 2015. They plan to rotate through regular locations and make appearances at local fairs and other events.
“It makes sense to be the next step for us, to not to be tied to a certain location,” he said. “We learned what a huge difference location can make with.”
The stand is closed for the 2014 season, but people can follow Yuki’s Facebook page for updates.