Yogurtland on Bancroft Way permanently closes its doors

Kayla Brown /Staff

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Berkeley residents hoping to indulge at Yogurtland on Bancroft Way will find a sign in the window announcing that the store is “permanently closed” as of Oct. 16.

The Berkeley location of the self-serving frozen yogurt chain location had been in business since as early as 2009. The sign in the window provides passersby with the location of the closest Yogurtland in operation, which is in Alameda, as well as the chain’s website. The inside of the store has been stripped of the majority of its interior decor and signage.

“Thank you Berkeley for all your support for the past 7 years!” the sign said.

Former Berkeley Yogurtland employee Aislinn Klein said in an email that when she worked at the location from 2010 to 2012, the eatery had been “very popular,” averaging a couple hundred customers in the afternoons. Klein added that customers at Yogurtland seemed “generally happy to be there.”

Campus senior Bryannie Bach was surprised to learn the location had closed. She said in an email that she believed the location was conveniently closer to campus compared to other frozen yogurt spots in the Berkeley area.

“My friend and I went there together when we were stressed out or after work,” Bach said in her email. “When you order a cup … they just give you so much in terms of toppings.”

A post featuring a photograph of the permanent closure sign on the door of Yogurtland has, as of press time, received almost 950 reactions and 350 comments in the “Free & For Sale” Facebook group, an open Facebook group for the Berkeley community.

Campus sophomore Ariana Garrotto, however, said that the closing of Yogurtland didn’t matter to her. Garrotto added that she believed Yogurt Park, a local frozen yogurt shop, is “the place to be.”

“Yogurtland is just excessive and expensive because you don’t know how much you’re paying when you’re getting the yogurt,” Garrotto said. “(It) just shows another classic corporate American chain can’t really exist in Berkeley.”

Klein said in an email that her co-workers were the best part of her experience working at Yogurtland. According to Klein, she was the only UC Berkeley student who worked at the store and her co-workers’ experiences were “vastly” different from her own. She recalled fondly that when the yogurt shop wasn’t busy, she would chat with her co-workers while cleaning.

Working at Yogurtland taught Klein that customers don’t tend to think of cashiers as “real people,” she said. She added that “hardly anyone tipped,” and that the job increased her courtesy toward servers in general.

Bach speculated that the main reason for the closing was high operational costs or a decline in customers.

“I actually really wanted to know why it closed,” Bach said in her email.

A spokesperson for Yogurtland could not be reached for comment on the closing as of press time.

Contact Mary Kelly Ford at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @MaryKellyFord1.