For any retail or restaurant owner having to face closing down is never easy. Most often entrepreneurs struggle with the decision, not wanting to let others down and yet being at the end of their rope. I know these overwhelming feelings first hand from my days as a business owner.
Naomi Anderson Fogel opened her Awesome Yogurt shop in August of 2012 in The Shops at 3000 at the Far Hills Avenue-East Dorothy Lane intersection. The mother of 3 did her homework, checking several franchises and finally decided to operate on her own. She became a huge part of the community, often hosting fundraisers for local schools and appearing in parades, the perfect spot for a birthday, celebration of just a sweet treat.
And yesterday she announced that the doors would not be opening again at her Kettering frozen yogurt shop. I had a chance to ask her about it and she let us know “My family life changed a lot over the last few months, and deciding to close Awesome Yogurt came as a relief. One person can only do so much.”
My favorite memories are anything having to do with people making connections. A few examples of this include kids meeting up after school, couples on dates and grandparents bringing their grandkids. I’m also in LOVE with all my employees. They’re amazing people and I’m so fortunate to have been the first job for many. They watched my yogurt shop baby when I couldn’t be there.“
And then yesterday this letter showed up:
Dear Awesome Yogurt,
Thank you for everything. Thank you for giving me an escape from a part-time job I hated. Thank you for giving me extra spending money – many Christmases and birthdays were made possible because of you. Thank you for teaching me how to skin a kiwi, how to core a pineapple, and how to perfectly hull a strawberry. Thank you for teaching me what on earth mochi was, how to make waffles without overflowing the iron, and how to keep marshmallows fresh (and also how to spell marshmallow). Thank you for teaching me how to cover max surface area with one stroke of the mop – and the value of a clean floor.
Thank you, Awesome Yogurt, for my memories. Thank you for “Foamy Fridays,” when Sean and I would use an entire bottle of dish soap in the sink and watch the kitchen fill with bubbles – and throw them at each other. Thank you for charades at Christmas parties and silly gift exchanges. Thank you for letting me use your cups to learn the Cup Song and then perform it for customers. Thank you for New Kids on the Block blasted full volume at closing time, and dancing with the broom. Thank you for the time CBS’s Big Brother had a frozen yogurt challenge on t.v., and I tried to mimic it during my next shift by sticking my head underneath the machine and pouring yogurt straight into my mouth while Danielle doubled over with laughter. It was a bad idea.
Thank you, Awesome Yogurt, for teaching me how to use a box cutter…and a can opener. The prominent scar on my left hand will never let me forget the time before we had a can opener when I tried to stab open a can of caramel with a knife – and missed. Thank you for the bruise I got on my butt when I slipped in the kitchen, and the several minutes of belly laughter that followed. Thank you for parade floats and birthday hats, Halloween parties and school fundraisers with lines of excited children snaking out the door.
Thank you, Awesome Yogurt, for Pup Cups – Josie’s favorite treat. Thank you for discounts honoring the hard work of teachers, first responders, and military personnel. Thank you for the excessive labels everywhere, and the time we even labeled ourselves. Thank you for the best tasting ice in Dayton – I still don’t know why that ice tasted so good in our water. Thank you for crafts and decorations – I can cut a perfect paper snowflake and write flawlessly on a chalkboard. Thank you for special events like Flyin’ to the Hoop, where we took half-court shots for free Piada and sold Sharpies for five dollars. I still remember how cold my hands got from reaching into the freezer, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you for Career Day. I had so much fun presenting to the middle-schoolers as a “small business owner.” Thank you for teaching me that yellow is the least popular spoon color…we’ll never know why.
Thank you, Awesome Yogurt, for everything. For new friends, and for bringing me closer to the old ones. Thank you for tears of joy and frustration. Thank you for loud laughter and constant smiles. Thank you for teaching me to sing louder, clean harder, and dance more. To the best part-time job in the world, for all this and more..thank you. Thank you for teaching our community, now and always, to make every day awesome.
With Love and Appreciation,
A Grateful Employee
And we’re betting that this just made Naomi’s day! We certainly wish her well on the next chapter of her life and hope she continues to get affirmations like this that hard work and endless hours she put in made a difference in our community.