Chill Frozen Yogurt closes down weeks shy of fourth anniversary
Chill Frozen Yogurt, located southwest of campus on Wydown Boulevard, will be closing its doors on March 2.
The establishment officially announced the closure via its Facebook fan page late Wednesday afternoon; however, for many Washington University students, the closure was a loosely kept secret.
“I just heard the rumor circulating around campus, and suffice to say, I was skeptical. So I drove down to check on Sunday, and the employees confirmed that the owner was selling,” senior Andi Hibbert said.
According to manager Liz Summers, the timing of the outpouring of questions from social media outlets proved problematic.
“I saw Twitter on Friday night, and someone asked, ‘Are the rumors true?’ You know, I was like, I can’t say because the official meeting’s not till Monday,” Summers said.
The decision came some time after the original owners relocated to California.
“It was just one of those things where we had the opportunity to sell it and it was just time,” Summers said.
Chill first opened its doors in April 2010. At its height, the franchise boasted additional locations in Des Peres and Ladue. However, according to Summers, these stores never enjoyed the level of success of the Clayton store.
The flagship location garnered the title of “Best Frozen Yogurt in St. Louis” from the Riverfront Times in 2010, with the hot fudge and sea-salt caramel sauces cited as contributing factors.
“You know, I think the biggest controversy is the loss of the hot fudge and salted caramel sauces…[these are] two exceptional losses,” Hibbert said.
In addition to being locally owned, Chill was also active in the Wash. U. community.
“We’ve always given back…you know, you guys will call us for fundraisers and you come in here and it’s so fun to see everybody get together to support your causes or the ThurtenE [Carnival] or whatever it is… You’ve just been awesome to work with, on many occasions,” Summers said.
Several student groups relied on the business for philanthropy efforts.
Last fall, junior Lindsay Juriga planned and organized Dig for Pink, a volleyball-themed fundraiser dedicated to raising awareness for breast cancer.
After contacting Chill over the summer, Juriga was able to obtain its support for a fundraising night.
“Chill was very generous to us; it’s a very positive place for Wash. U. students to go to. I know there are other places around, but Chill is popular and really close to campus,” Juriga said. “I’m sad to see it close; I think Wash. U. and Dig for Pink will miss this business.”
Henry Barry, former president of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, heard of Chill’s reputation in the community and reached out to them for assistance with an “All-You-Can-Eat Froyo” fundraiser event.
Chill “donated quite a bit of product and gave us a discount after that. They had employees there willing to package it; they even had coolers ready. All we had to do was pick it up,” Barry said.
While the fraternity plans to host another similar event, “not having Chill there will definitely throw a curveball into the plan,” Barry said.
The Wydown location will soon be replaced by Yo My Goodness, another St. Louis-based franchise. However, the new location will not honor Chill Bucks or gift cards.
According to Summers, the transition should be a smooth one.
“I think it’s going to be a good fit,” she said. “I know they’re in Webster, and that’s another great community just like Clayton. And then they reach out in that community…but you know it’s kind of one of these things, [most of the employees]—they’re all seniors. They’re going off to college next year, so it’s all going to be a transition into a new deal anyway.”