BY SABINE PETERKA —
The Yo Mama frozen yogurt shop on Oakland Avenue closed January 31 to focus on their other two locations in Wauwatosa and Brookfield.
“Unfortunately, Shorewood is what we decided is the thing that needed to close in order to work on all these other projects,” said Becky Berger, owner.
“We’re going to be selling ice cream [in addition to frozen yogurt] in both our Wauwatosa and Brookfield stores by the scoop. In the past you were only able to buy it in the pint, but now you’ll be able to buy it by the scoop in the stores and then we’ll also be making milkshakes and cones and all of that,” Berger said. “So that’s the big project that we’re working on right now.”
Their homemade ice cream, called Scratch, used to be produced in Shorewood but they have remodeled the Wauwatosa store to produce it there.
Their lease was up, so after being open three years they decided to close.
“There was an overwhelming response from the community that they were sad to see us go,” Berger said. “A lot of people said they would walk there over the summer with their families, so a lot of people [were] expressing sadness that we were leaving, but they also wished us luck.”
According to Berger, the location had some challenges including parking and weather.
“Obviously, winter has a huge impact on all of our businesses, but for some reason on Shorewood even more than the other two,” Berger said.
Lauren Merkel, employee of Sydney b., a business that formerly neighbored Yo Mama, also acknowledged the weather’s impact on business.
“One challenge of [the location] is just it’s a very walkable community in general, so if it’s pouring rain, you’re not going to get a ton of walk-in traffic,” Merkel said. “But the benefit is that it is a very walkable community, so I believe that has pros and cons in itself.”
“Shorewood is similar [to] Wauwatosa where it’s more of a walking community, but obviously it has more of that urban feel, so there’s not a lot of parking which was actually a problem that we had that people would complain about,” Berger said.
Carly Yanoff, sophomore, said Yo Mama was a big part of the community.
“I think it was a good place that everyone in the community could go to, so it was a nice place to hang out,” said Yanoff. “You sit out there at night and the bars have people outside and everyone’s on the sidewalk and it’s a nice vibe of happy community just on the street.”
“What we set out to do was to have a place that people will make memories that they can look back and remember. So I’m hoping that we did [impact the community],” Berger said.
According to Michelle Boehm, Business Improvement District Marketing Manager, there has not been any activity on the space since Yo Mama left.
“I think that every little town needs an ice cream shop and so when it’s gone it’s like, what do we need, another hair salon?” Yanoff said.
“It’d be nice to have another restaurant in that area,” Merkel said.
The Shorewood Yo Mama had three employees working there when it closed, all of whom have continued to work at other locations.
“We are super thankful for everything that our customers did for us and all of the support that we had. I know our employees that worked there actually loved it, and they met a ton of great people there– and they were obviously very sad to leave,” Berger said. “We really enjoyed Shorewood. We didn’t want to leave, it just was a business decision that was tough to make.”
Outstanding gift cards can be used at the other locations.