Frozen treats no more: GoBerry closing after 12-year run on Northampton’s Main Street

  • GoBerry on Main street Northampton Tuesday, Jan.18, 2022. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Penelope Hosley, an employee of GoBerry on Main Street in Northampton, makes an order of guava, strawberries and gummies for a customer. The Northampton store is closing and the last day will be Sunday Jan. 23, 2022. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Celia Dinicola rings up an order while Penelope Hosley,hands Ruby Aiken her original with Strawberry Boba frozen yogurt at GoBerry on Main street Northampton. The store is closing and the last day will be Sunday Jan. 23, 2022. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

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    Penelope Hosley, an employee of GoBerry on Main street Northampton, waits on left, Krista Heal and Raichelle Doyle. The Northampton store is closing and the last day will be Sunday Jan. 23, 2022. "It's a place we always come, especially in the spring and summer. It makes me very sad," said Doyle as she ordered. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 1/20/2022 8:31:42 PM
Modified: 1/20/2022 8:30:37 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The downtown frozen yogurt shop GoBerry will serve its final customers on Sunday after 12 years in business.

Alex and Molly Feinstein opened the shop at 80 Main St. in 2010, serving handmade frozen yogurt using their own recipes and ingredients from local farms. The owners announced the closure this week, saying the GoBerry ‘n Cream location in Amherst is not affected.

Alex Feinstein said the closure is “definitely pandemic-related,” but it also reflects a decline in Northampton’s foot traffic over several years before COVID-19 affected daily life.

“I think GoBerry is a great indicator of foot traffic in Northampton, being a spontaneous treat,” Feinstein said. “We have our die-hard customers who will (come) out at all times of the year, during any weather, but it wasn’t enough to save the business.”

He said that when GoBerry first opened, downtown Northampton featured more live music, cultural attractions and iconic stores, “and it just seemed like there was a lot more going on downtown.”

“Over time, and especially during the pandemic, fewer people are coming to Northampton,” Feinstein said.

Barry Goldman of Northampton heard through a friend that GoBerry planned to close. On Thursday, he asked employee Jacklyn Lipscomb how long the frozen yogurt can last in the freezer.

When she answered, “Two or three weeks,” he ordered three tubs of blueberry, down from his original plan to order 10.

Goldman said he has come to GoBerry for years, but “since the pandemic, not so much.” He loves the “light, airy, ice cream flavors. Not too sweet. Just wonderful stuff.”

Lipscomb splits her time between staying in Belchertown with her parents and attending the University of New Haven in Connecticut, where she has an apartment. No matter where she’s staying, she commutes to GoBerry for every shift. She said she loves her job and has “no complaints.”

“We’ve all loved working here. Alex is such a great boss,” Lipscomb said. When asked her plans to find another job, she said she will probably look for something in New Haven.

GoBerry makes frozen yogurt daily using ingredients from farms within 20 miles of the shop. The company website states that GoBerry in Northampton has used nearly 84,000 gallons of milk from Mapleline Farm in Hadley and hired 328 employees over its 12-year run.

What Feinstein will miss most, he said, are the “community connections” that the Feinsteins have forged through GoBerry, whether by donating profits to local charities or developing new business relationships with suppliers like Mapleline Farm.

“I’ll never forget” when Mapleline owner John Kokoski came in to GoBerry in its early days, Feinstein said. “He was so confident and he just dropped off a bunch of skim milk for us and said, ‘We look forward to working with you.’ And he wasn’t wrong. It’s a great product.”

In a post on GoBerry’s Facebook post, the Feinsteins wrote, “For us, GoBerry has always been about more than froyo, it has been about our love and commitment to this community. Please join us in raising a cup (and spoon) to celebrate a wonderful run.”

The GoBerry ‘n Cream location at 28 Amity St. in Amherst will remain open. The Feinsteins sold the Amherst GoBerry business to SiriNam and Kirn Khalsa during the 2020 pandemic-related shutdown.

Brian Steele can be reached at bsteele@gazettenet.com.

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