Yogurt Stop, located at 8803 Santa Monica Blvd, by Palms Avenue has announced via their Instagram account that they are closing on October 2, 2023 after being open in West Hollywood for the past 15 years. The frozen yogurt shop known for its pump-it-yourself concept and offering various flavors with creative names that tap into the WeHo community opened in 2009.
“A big heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you for the past 15 years,” reads a post at @yogurtstop. “We couldn’t have done it without you. Xxx”
A sign at their window reads:
Dear Community, Friends, Family, Visitors and Everyone! Thank you for 15 unbelievable and amazing years!!! When we opened January 2nd, 2009, YOU made us a healthy business. For the past 15 years, YOU kept us healthy. Because of YOU, we are able to close our doors a healthy business. Our last day of operation will be October 2nd, 2023. Again, thank you for all your support throughout the years. We’ve made many friends and are so grateful. We couldn’t have done it without you.
We love you so much!
Marta & Shoshana (and Elf).
A second sign at their window adds:
“100% WOMEN OWNED AND OPERATED (15 YEARS)
BOYSTOWN’S ONLY MOM & MOM
Owners Marta Knittel and Shoshana Joseph tell WEHO TIMES that the reason for their closure is not the hike in minimum wage in WeHo, or because their business is suffering from lack of customers, but because the landlord would not renew their lease, and would not give them the option to sell and extend the lease to a potential buyer of the business. They say they had two qualified buyers, but their attorney told them that Yogurt Stop found themselves in an unfortunate position, because they only had a year and a half left on their lease at the time.
They both decided to turn the page as the lease comes to an end on October 30th. They say they opted to close on October 2nd, because they need the month to clear everything out. The sign announcing their closure went up on Friday afternoon.
“We were very strategic in how we wrote the notice,” said Shoshana. “We used the word healthy because the business is strong. We survived COVID, we went through recessions and we made it through. We were this safety net during COVID. People were so grateful we were open. Everything was so stressful, but this little spot was kind of like the Little Engine that Could. People loved it.”
They also spoke on some of the struggles they faced in the past 15 years of running the only “mom and mom” shop in West Hollywood’s LGBT Rainbow District.
There was the time their landlord sent them a Cease-and-Desist letter stating that they were at default because we were selling chips, candy, cookies, and other small marketplace items aside from yogurt (they eventually worked it out and the chips remained); there was the time parents complained that the the Yogurt Stop Logo showing the silhouette of a seemingly nude woman pumping yogurt, was overtly sexual, so they had to change her into a more suitable skirt that hid her curves (a costly adjustment); then people were mad that they named a tart yogurt after then Mayor John Duran (and he got made when they changed the name to something more bland); and there were also the malcontents who gave them a hard time for allowing customers to help themselves to toppings during COVID (toppings were then individually packaged).
Complainers aside, both women agree that they will miss the West Hollywood community the most. They say their regular customers were the greatest and marvel at how some of these regulars were carried into the shop as babies and now they walk in for a frozen treat as fully grown teenagers fifteen years later.
So what’s next for the owners of WeHo’s mom and mom shop?
They say they are looking to take some time off to unwind and regroup. The plan to travel to Italy at some point and they say they will probably open another business in the future.
“It makes us really sad to be closing after 15 years,” said Marta. “We posted our notice a month and a half in advance because we wanted to give me people a chance to stop by and enjoy some of our yogurt before we have to say goodbye. We felt we owed them an advanced notice.”