Oh, how work has been an annoyance lately. But interesting things are coming, most especially for what your host likes to think of as the Official Holiday of Semantic Compositions (hint: that's soon). In the meantime, though, a note on a culinary morpheme that's sweeping Los Angeles.
Once upon a time, an entire continent discovered it was lactose-intolerant, and thus was invented soymilk. This actually isn't relevant to the story on its own, but it makes the fact that a Korean entrepreneur hit it big in his home country by selling frozen yogurt just a little stranger. That yogurt, called Red Mango, was quickly imitated by a Korean immigrant to the United States who opened up a store in West Hollywood to sell frozen yogurt under the name Pinkberry, and therein lies our tale.
As detailed in this 2006 LA Times story, Pinkberry frozen yogurt attracts diehard fans, of which SC is emphatically not one. On a winter night around 10:30 p.m., SC walked by the Pinkberry location in Westwood, where he likes to go to the gym. The line was 20 people long. Since this was actually half the length of the lines he'd seen during the daytime on other days, he got in line and proceeded to be robbed of $5 for the most nauseatingly disgusting yogurt he'd ever eaten. Let's just say that it's not sweetened according to American tastes. Not a bit. However, SC nevertheless admires the clever packaging of the stores, which look exactly like what you'd imagine if Sanrio had been contracted to produce a business for Hello Kitty to run (Hello Kitty being the most hopelessly, irresistibly cute character ever drawn).
Pinkberry's success has spawned a wave of imitators, and now we come to the linguistic hook. Just as the '80s craze for drive-through taco stands in San Diego spawned a wave of "Bertos" (Roberto's, Alberto's, Aliberto's, Aiberto's, Gilberto's -- SC can't make this stuff up), there are now hordes of berries you never knew existed. While the LA Times story references a copycat called Kiwiberry (and spelled it wrong), there's now an Iceberry (which may or may not be a local outpost of a Korean chain by that name), Snowberry, and even a kosher imitator in Jewish L.A. called Berri Good. Little Tokyo features yet another knockoff which didn't pursue the "berry" morpheme, but nevertheless used a name suggestive of something floral/fruity, Fiore. There are probably more, but these are just the ones that your host has passed by in person to know about -- one of the annoying habits of the imitators is that they don't list themselves by these names in the Yellow Pages (and probably haven't registered fictitious business names ending in "berry" to avoid lawsuits).
Your host has seen this story play out before, and it generally ends badly -- a chain called Penguin's had Pinkberry-style success in the '80s (you'd get a taco at Roberto's, then go to Penguin's for dessert), and the quite professional website obscures the fact that the last few stores just closed late last year. For that matter, many of the Bertos haven't survived (although the original continues). So eventually, there won't be as many *berries as there are today -- but SC bets that before that happens, there will be plenty more.