One year after Polar Delight and Pinkberry closed their doors, a third frozen yogurt shop has bitten the dust.
Flavors, located at 290 York St., posted a sign on its window in early September announcing a search for new tenants, who were instructed to call the property landlord. The store was empty except for several boxes, deconstructed frozen yogurt machines and remnants of the counter, which had been torn down. Owner Mohamed Elsamra could not be reached for comment, but Elliot Detchon ’67, who owns the frozen yogurt store Go Greenly on 48 Whitney Ave., said the presence of several frozen yogurt shops, including Froyo World on 46 High St., created tough competition for his business and likely Flavors’ as well.
“There were a burst of stores opening all within a relatively short time, and there is only so much of that business you can sustain because competition can weed things out pretty quickly,” Detchon said. “I feel like it is fortunate just to be survivors at the moment.”
Anthony Koutroumanis, Flavors’ landlord, said he does not know why Flavors’ owners chose to close the store, adding that he had not been aware of any plans to close Flavors until the owners told him near the end of August. Koutroumanis noted that he did not know who would be his next tenant.
“Whoever pays the rent,” Koutroumanis said. “If a dress shop pays the rent, then I’ll bring a dress shop in.”
Flavors opened in fall 2011, after the arrival of Froyo World, which set up shop in 2010. In 2011, Froyo World owner William Bok publicly accused Flavors of stealing his store’s marketing strategies. Go Greenly, Polar Delight and Pinkberry all opened their doors in 2013.
Joyce Koltisko ’18 said she believes that because Flavors and Froyo World were in close proximity to each other, the closing of one did not create much of an inconvenience for her.
“Seeing the closing of Flavors was certainly a surprise,” said Koltisko. “It was in a central location. But realistically, anyone going to Flavors would also go to Froyo World because they are not too far from each other.”
Koltisko added that the impact of Flavors’ closing was further softened by the store’s proximity to Ashley’s Ice Cream, which also sells frozen treats.
Detchon also highlighted that New England’s cold winters made New Haven a less-than-ideal location for frozen yogurt shops. He added that while his store is expanding its menu to include seasonal items such as hot drinks, the dearth of frozen yogurt customers in the winter likely resulted in lower revenues for the area’s frozen yogurt shops, including Flavors.
Nicole Clark ’16 agreed that opening a frozen yogurt shop in New England was probably not the most foolproof business decision.
“I don’t understand why you’d need more than two frozen yogurt shops in a place whose main consumer base is there when Yale is under a blanket of snow,” Clark said.
A recent report by USA Today found that college students order frozen yogurt more often than any other food item.